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Sunday July 25, 2010

Busy Malaysian bachelors seek foreign wives via agencies

PETALING JAYA: Work pressure is taking its toll on some single Malaysian men. With no time for courtship, these bachelors are turning to matchmaking agencies to seek life partners.

Some, including businessmen and professionals like engineers and company managers, have opted for “instant” brides from Vietnam, Indonesia or China and are willing to pay between RM10,000 and RM30,000 to matchmaking agencies to bring the women to Malay­sia.

The amount covers processing and agency fees but not dowry or wedding expenses.

The matchmaking process is now more sophisticated as some local agencies link up with their foreign counterparts to “supply” the brides online.

The customers get to view the candidates and communicate with the agencies via e-mail. Once a selection is made, the woman is flown over for a trial meeting.

The agencies claim this is a legal operation as the women sign up for the service willingly, many with their parents’ support. Vietnamese brides are popular because many are perceived as still “pure and innocent”.

The potential bride is sent for a medical check-up to determine if she is free from sexually transmitted or other diseases and will even undergo a virginity test if a request is made by the groom-to-be.

If all goes well, the marriage takes place in less than a month, before the woman’s visa expires.

To overcome the language barrier, the brides attend classes so that they can communicate with the groom and his family members.

Although there have been reports of runaway brides, some marriages have turned out to be happy unions.

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