updated 19 Aug 2010, 18:45
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Mon, Mar 29, 2010
New Straits Times
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More M'sian men offer themselves as "hired husbands"

KUALA LUMPUR: Men who offer themselves as "hired husbands" are mostly above the age of 40 and have full-time jobs.

The RM5,000 ($2,125.50) monthly payment from their foreign wives - many of whom live separately and do not know the names of their spouses - is good money in exchange for a signature on marriage documents.

Immigration director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman said there was no data on the number of "marriages of convenience" between local men and foreign women.

"Most of them (foreign women) are from China and Vietnam.

"This is definitely the work of a syndicate and we are getting the police to help us crack it," he told the New Straits Times.

Rahman said the department was discussing with the National Registration Department (NRD) and police on these marriages of convenience.

Until then, he said, the department could not impose stricter rules on women from these countries who came here to work but ended up doing other things.

He added that the bulk of such cases came to light at the end of last year.

Under immigration procedures, foreign spouses first get a three-month pass to stay before being allowed a six-month visa.

The department can then issue permits for five years before allowing the foreign spouses to stay in the country without having to go back to their home countries for documentation purposes.

NRD director-general Datuk Alwi Ibrahim said marriages were allowed as long as the couples complied with all the requirements.

He said the department had until 2008 interviewed foreigners and their local spouses before allowing the marriages to be registered.

This procedure, however, was discontinued when it was found there was no urgent need to do so.

"For now, there is no way for us to find out whether the marriages are genuine.

"There is no proof to show that they are marriages of convenience."

He said NRD officers had met the Immigration Department to see if it was necessary to revive the interview system in light of the recent cases.

At the moment, foreigners are required to produce a single-status verification letter from their government before they can marry here.

Home Minister Datuk Seri His-hammuddin Hussein said the issue was raised during a meeting with ministries and government agencies.

He said the meeting - a panel comprising 14 ministries to study the role of foreign workers and outsourcing - had highlighted the problems and discussed ideas on how to solve them.

"This was one of the few issues that we discussed during the meeting.

"It is not a new thing and we are looking into it," he said after a briefing with top policemen at the police training centre in Cheras yesterday.

The recommendations will be made known in four weeks.

Study will show why local men are for hire

The government has been urged to find out how widespread was the practice of foreign women hiring local men to be their husbands.

The National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO) said a study would also show why local men chose to become "hired husbands".

NCWO deputy president Datuk Ramani Gurusamy said this would enable the authorities to stop foreign women coming here to make money from vice activities.

"The responsibility is on government agencies to carry out this study. This is crucial."

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman had said that such cases were rampant, especially in Perak, Johor and Penang.

All Women's Action Society Malaysia (Awam) senior programme officer Abigail de Vries said highlighting such cases without statistics would put genuine marriages to foreigner women in the spotlight.

She said it was the Immigration Department's responsibility to identify these cases by stepping up its enforcement.



readers' comments
good secondary source of income, especially for those fellows who have many kids clinging onto their motorbike
Posted by perceivedtobe on Tue, 30 Mar 2010 at 12:21 PM

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