Southern Thailand popular for Malaysian polygamous marriages

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Southern Thailand has emerged as a preferred destination for Malaysian men seeking ceremonial polygamous marriages. Each month, at least 30 couples from Malaysia undergo marriage ceremonies at the Narathiwat Islamic Religious Council, according to a report by the Bernama news agency.

These couples primarily hail from the neighbouring states of Kelantan and Terengganu, though some travel from as far as Kuala Lumpur. Provincial Council Deputy President Abdul Aziz Mamat explained that marrying in southern Thailand involves specific conditions, including background checks on the couple.

“Getting married in southern Thailand is not as easy as it may seem. There are specific conditions that must be met, including background checks on the couple.”

While Aziz did not elaborate on why Narathiwat is particularly popular for these marriages, it is clear that this trend extends to other southern border provinces.

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The Malaysian consulate in Songkhla reports that approximately 300 Malaysian couples marry in Songkhla province each month. This was highlighted in a February report by the Malay Mail, citing the Malaysian-language Sinar Harian.

Consul Ahmad Fahmi Ahmad Sarkawi noted that Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, and Satun are popular destinations for these marriages.

“Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, and Satun are the other popular destinations for marriage.”

This growing phenomenon underscores the cross-border cultural and religious ties between Malaysia and southern Thailand, where polygamy is permissible under Islamic law, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, a foreign man sought opinions from netizens after paying a 230,000 baht dowry to his Thai wife‘s family. He posed the question, “Was I stupid to agree to the dowry?”

The foreigner took to Reddit to share his marriage experience, asking fellow users to weigh in on whether his decision was right or wrong. His post garnered over 200 responses from netizens before the comment section closed.

In other news, Thailand is on the verge of making history by passing the Marriage Equality Bill, which is set to undergo its final round of Senate voting this month. If approved, the bill could come into effect by the end of the year, making Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to endorse gender equality in marriage.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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