More than 500 Malaysian couples have registered their marriage in Southern Thailand since the country’s borders opened in May this year, says Narathiwat Islamic Religious Council Committee member Abd Rahman Yusuf.
Speaking to Astro Awani, Abd Rahman said the trend continues to increase, especially among those with the title of ‘Datuk’.
Abd Rahman, who is also the Head of the Association of Imams, Khatibs and Bilal Sungai Golok, revealed that he was involved in the solemnization of the marriage of several politicians and senior government officials in the country.
Why people choose to marry in Thailand?
He explained that a majority of these marriage arrangements taking part in Thailand involved men marrying a second wife or a widow.
Nonetheless, it is common for Malaysian couples to register their marriage in Southern Thailand, but couples do it for various reasons. Among them were the family not agreeing to the relationship, and being a secret marriage to hide it from the first wife.
“Many people come here to solve their problems and most of them have the ‘Datuk’ title,” he said.
Abd Rahman explained that it is difficult to get married again in the country. Thus, many sought this solution, which is to register their marriage in Thailand.
“It is easier and legal this way. After that, the couple can continue to register their marriage in Malaysia easily,” he explained.
Where to go and what to bring?
Meanwhile, Abd Rahman said that only solemnizations that take place in Masjid Kedai Baru, Narathiwat are accepted when applying for a marriage certificate in Thailand that is acknowledged by the Malaysian Consulate in Songkhla.
He also shared that couples who want to register their marriage in Southern Thailand only need to bring along RM900 in cash and other travel documents such as passports or border passes.
They are also required to present their identity cards and the original copy of the divorce certificate or husband’s death certificate for widows.
Earlier, the Malaysian Consul General in Songkhla, Muhammad Ridzuan Abu Yazid urged Malaysians who got married in Southern Thailand not to delay marriage registration when returning to their homeland.
He said registration in Malaysia needs to be done to avoid problems in the future.