updated 6 Mar 2011, 03:01
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Sun, Mar 06, 2011
The New Paper
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Don't treat Vietnamese brides like consumer goods
by Crystal Chan

PRIVATE equity investor Alvin Lim, 44, has a Diners Club credit card but he will never consider a monthly repayment scheme for a bride.

On Valentine's Day last year, Mr Lim married Ms Mary Nguyen, 21, whom he met through Vietnam Brides International.

He told The New Paper on Sunday that it is always better to be able to afford something than to pay in instalments, especially when the annual interest rates are as high as 24 per cent for late payments.

When told that Vietnam Brides International has a zero-interest repayment scheme for Diners Club cardholders, Mr Lim said: 'I'd rather save up the money first before getting married. You're talking about a life-time commitment.

'If you can't afford it, you shouldn't get married in the first place. If you can't afford the repayment just months into the marriage, the banks could sue you.'

Ms Nguyen feels the instalment plan is just another way for agents to make money.

She said: 'I think that $8,000 for a bride is so expensive. It makes me wonder if the agents are doing a service or are just looking to sell us off.

'This instalment plan will only make it easier for agents to marry the girls off.'

Civil servant Alex Lee, 43, who is married to a Vietnamese woman, felt that the instalment plan makes the brides look like consumer products.

He said: 'Treating the brides as products will cheapen the institution of marriage and demean the woman.'

Still, he acknowledged that most people are mature enough to think for themselves.

He said: 'People will marry when they are ready to, not because of a promotion like that.

'The instalment plan is a creative way of attracting customers, but I doubt it will be a major factor for people who are serious about marriage.'

Family counsellor Charles Lee warned that such schemes could lead to men making hasty decisions even if they cannot afford to support a family.

Another counsellor, Mr David Lim, said: 'The woman may think her husband is cash-strapped and she could start having misgivings about the marriage.'

But Mr Lee said the flip side is that some Vietnamese girls aren't picky so long as they marry a Singaporean.

He said: 'So you must also ask: Are they sincerely looking for a husband or just a way out of poverty?'.

This article was first published in The New Paper

readers' comments
Wasn't this the lecturer who advertised for a tutor to teach his wife English not so long ago? Didn't think it appropriate for him to be in the news like that.
Posted by mimosatree on Thu, 9 Jul 2009 at 13:45 PM
The term " buying a bride " is just horrible. Are there love involved prior to purchased! 0r one just hopes for the best after transactions!
Posted by heavenlyangel on Fri, 5 Jun 2009 at 18:46 PM
S8,000.00 you say is expensive or have you not been told how much a SINGAPORE BRIDE will cost you! The so-called dowry paid is more than that not to mention the dinner itself.

Mr.Lee...aren't picky as long as they marry a Singaporean...what does this mean??
Posted by Liquidos on Tue, 2 Jun 2009 at 22:17 PM

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