Malaysians seek brides from Vietnam, China

July 25th, 2010 - 1:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, July 25 (IANS) Malaysian men are now hunting for brides from other countries like Vietnam and China, with many even asking women to undergo virginity tests before agreeing to a wedding. Brides from India are not sought, a survey has said.
Luring them are matrimonial agencies which portray Vietnamese girls as “pure and innocent” and who “will never divorce”.

This trend of getting a foreign bride that began almost a decade back in Malaysia is catching on, The Star newspaper said in a survey Sunday.

Brides from mainland China come next for Malaysians. Chinese are the largest ethnic minority in multi-ethnic Malaysia.

Though ethnic Indians consist of seven percent of the population, brides from India are neither sought nor promoted, the survey said.

Indonesia, the biggest source of housemaids for Malaysian homes - where also there are allegations of their being ill-treated - is fast becoming a source to look for homemakers.

Malaysian students have also joined in the bride hunt, citing lack of opportunity to meet girls as they are either in girls’ colleges or pursuing courses.

But agencies turn away students if they are below 21.

Work pressure is taking its toll on 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 ($3,129) and RM30,000 ($9,400) 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 prospective bridegrooms 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.

The potential bride is sent for a medical check-up to determine if she is free from sexually transmitted or other diseases and may even have to 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, the survey says.

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