ALOR STAR: The Kedah's Cross-Border Marriage Amnesty Programme 2018 which began yesterday has received positive response from the public based on the number of enquiries to the Islamic religious offices in the state.
The programme coordinator Mohd Nor Azim Abd Razak said most of the calls received were to inquire on procedures to take part in the programme.
“Many people wanted to learn more on the procedures and there were also parents who wanted to register their children's marriage.
“We were already receiving many calls before the programme started but the number increased significantly yesterday and some walked in at the district religious offices to seek further clarification after reading about it in the newspapers.
“Most of the questions are on the processing period (which takes less than 100 days) and the cheap compound (RM300) offered under the programme.
"We wish to assure that those with complete documents will have their application processed and approved within the stipulated period,” he said when met today.
Last week, NSTP reported that the state government had agreed to impose a fine of only RM300 under the Cross-border Marriage Amnesty Programme that began on April 1, to avoid burdening the applicants.
The state Religious Affairs, Tourism and Heritage, and Works Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid was reported as saying that state executive council meeting recently had unanimously agreed to carry out the programme by focusing on protecting the rights of wives and children.
He said the programme was not aimed at encouraging cross-border marriages but to ensure that those who were already married and had failed to register their marriages to do so.
Two weeks ago, the NSTP reported that the Kedah government was embarking on a cross-border marriage amnesty programme to help 10,000 women who were not officially recognised as wives as they had tied the knot across the Malaysian-Thai border.
This programme will also pave the way to resolve the issue of 30,000 children who are made stateless due to their parents failure to register their marriage with the religious offices in Kedah.
The amnesty programme is open to couples who married abroad last year and earlier, with priority given to those who have children from such unions.