There is nothing wrong with unregistered marriage and polygamy, Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali said on Friday.
He said that in his personal opinion unregistered marriage and polygamy were legal from a religious standpoint.
“I personally think that unregistered marriage is legal before the religion and if anyone wishes to do polygamy then go ahead,” Suryadharma said, as quoted by Metro TV.
He said that unregistered marriage was like buying a car. The manufacturer made it in order to solve a transportation problem as well as for the passenger’s comfort. If the car is later used for drug smuggling or other bad uses, it was not the carmaker’s responsibility, he said, and they should not take the blame.
“Unregistered marriage is legal before the law because all the requirements are fulfilled,” he added.
However, public stigma meant that unregistered marriage often equaled secret marriage, he said. Suryadharma condemned such stigma as being “very wrong” because even though the union was not registered, the couple was wed by a member of the clergy and the event was witnessed by their families.
“So, it’s not a secret marriage. If it is abused, it’s the individual mistake,” he said. “And what about polygamy? Go ahead, it’s a choice.”