Malaysians return to southern Thailand to get hitched

KOTA BARU: Well-known public figures and politicians from Malaysia, including those with "Datuk" titles, are among people who have tied the knot in southern Thailand in the post-Covid-19 period.

Narathiwat Islamic Religious Council committee member Abdul Rahman Yusof said most of them came from the East Coast states.

He added that many Malaysian couples crossed over to the council's office in Narathiwat soon after the borders of both countries fully reopened early this year.

"Before this, the number of Malaysians who visited our office to get married had dropped drastically as the Malaysia-Thailand border was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Early this year, the number crept back to normal as many Malaysians, who had postponed their marriage, decided to get hitched this year," he said.

The Sungai Golok Imam Association chief said between 50 and 70 Malaysian couples get hitched at the council's office in a month.

He said such couples would normally cross over to Thailand via Sungai Golok either in Pengkalan Kubor or Rantau Panjang.

"In the Sungai Golok sub-province, Malaysian couples can get married at only Masjid Kedai Baru. At least three couples get hitched there in a month," he added.

He said Malaysian couples normally get married in southern Thailand due to several reasons.

"Apart from, taking a second wife, Malaysian men choose to use Thai marriage services because they face other problems, such as failure to get their parents' approval (for marriage)," he added.

On marriage syndicates being involved in the matter, he believed it was tough for such groups to continue their operations despite the reopening of the border.

"Previously, marriage syndicates operated along the Malaysia-Thailand border along Kelantan. But to date, their business has dropped or maybe some ceased operating due to low demand.

"Furthermore, Malaysian couples are willing to choose legal service over the services offered by the syndicate."

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