Adultery's got a new price

A Malaysian court fines a woman for breaking up her lover's marriage.

Published May 8, 2001 7:46PM (EDT)

A woman in Taiping, Malaysia, who had an affair with a married man now must pay the equivalent of $5,263 to the man's ex-wife, according to Malaysia's Sun Daily.

Adultery has a price, Judicial Commissioner V.T. Singam ruled last week. Yeoh Ah Hoon will be forced to compensate the ex-wife for the loss of her marriage -- roughly $197 for each of the 27 months the affair lasted.

"May this court take the opportunity to send a clear message to would-be men and women who wish to flirt or mess around or entice away the wife or husband of a spouse while the marriage is still in legal existence that they will have to face the legal consequences of having the huge damages and costs of proceedings if it is found that the cause of marriage breakdown is due to the adulterous relationship," Singam said. "Therefore, please lay off from attempting to flirt or entice a married man or woman from his or her spouse."

According to the ex-wife, Ng Mooi Tee, the marriage was going well until Yeoh began having sex with her husband. The affair began in January 1999, according to Yeoh, and the husband, a welder named Kang Ka Heng, says it resulted in a baby.

Singam cited section 59 of the Law Reform Act, also known as the Marriage and Divorce Act. There was no mention, however, of how he arrived at the figure of $197 per month. Broken down, the relationship cost Yeoh just over $6.50 a day. (By extension, February, with just 28 days, had a per diem of $7.)

Kang was not ordered to pay for his share of the affair, which appears to have been approximately 50 percent.

By Chris Colin

Chris Colin is the author most recently of "Blindsight," published by the Atavist.

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