Mother-in-law syndrome is is the prime reason for divorce among ethnic Indian couples in Malaysia, a government study has found.
'Interference' by mother-in-laws also haunts the ethnic Chinese and Malays who have also cited it as the main cause behind their separation and disruption in their life, a study by the National Population and Family Development Board shows.
"Interference of in-laws is the main reason why Indians divorce. It is the top ranked reason at 30 per cent," said board's Director General Aminah Abdul Rahman.
"In the Indian community, infidelity is the second highest ranked reason for divorce at 25 per cent," she was quoted as saying by the Star online yesterday.
The Malaysia Community and Family Study 2004 showed that the two other factors are incompatibility at 42.3 per cent and infidelity at 12 per cent.
Infidelity is a deal breaker in Malay and Indian marriages but it appears to be tolerated among the Chinese.
"Among Malays, the second most common reason for a divorce is infidelity and a refusal to put up with polygamy," she said.
"According to a population survey in 2000, only a portion of the population at 0.7 per cent is divorced," she added.
The data showed that divorce is more likely to happen to those in the age group under 25 and above 40.