Over the years, there has been a huge number of Malaysian couples eloping to Thailand to get married.
Most of these couples get their marriage registered in Thailand but not in Malaysia.
When this happens, things may get more complicated because they will not be recognised as a married couple when they return to the country.
Those who do so will have to dissolve their marriage at the Malaysian Consulate in Thailand, then get their marriage registered. In other words, get married again!
But why go through so much hassle when you can just go through the regular process of getting married here in Malaysia?
According to Bernama
, Malaysian couples tend to elope to Thailand on two scenarios: One, when their marriage is opposed by their families
like Romeo and Juliet and two, well, men who want to get another wife but failed to get the blessings of his first wife.
An agent who provides marriage services in Thailand told Bernama
that his fees are based on how complex the case is.
"If the couple is from Kedah, the charge is RM1,800 for a normal marriage procedure, but sometimes it goes up to RM2,800. For those not from Kedah like Johor, Melaka, Pahang and Terengganu, it is between a RM2,200 and RM4,000," he added.
Should there be Malaysians who are looking to marry foreigners like Indonesians and Singaporeans, the procedure is considered more complicated and thus would be more expensive.
There were a total of 799 "eloping" cases last year, a 233 increase from the 566 cases in 2017.
Currently, the marriage centres that are recognised for Malaysians to get hitched in Thailand include the Songkhla Islamic Religious Council and the Narathiwat Islamic Religious council.
The couples can either get married at those two places, or at a mosque with an imam appointed by local religious authorities to solemnise the marriage.
But that's not all!
Next, the couples are required to get a marriage verification letter from the Malaysia Consulate-General Office to seal their marriage in Malaysia.
So it's not just another Romeo and Juliet story, unfortunately.