Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Men 'buy' Viet Wives Off Bridal Parades

Marrying a Vietnamese girl in Malaysia is no longer done the conventional mail-order way – it is now conducted in the buy-on-the-spot style. Young and attractive Vietnamese girls are being paraded at coffeeshops and agents’ homes in some small towns for the prospective grooms to pick and choose, and seal the deal there and then.

“The agents have always charged a huge amount to provide local men with girls of their choice using runners, distributing leaflets and operating from offices filled with Vietnamese girls’ photos and profiles,” he told The Star.

“You do not need to go through the hassle of selecting the girl from the photos, flying to Vietnam to meet her and flying back to Malaysia to register the marriage. This practice of ‘buying’ wives paraded in coffeeshops is faster and the potential buyers get to have a first-hand look at the girls.”

The girls are paid for on the spot and taken away by the men as their wives.

Chong said the “price tag” ranges from RM20,000 to RM30,000.

“The prettier and sexier the girl, the higher price she fetches,” he added.

Chong said such a practice is no different from the sex slave trade.

"It is a sickening practice and shames our nation. Women should be treated as equals and by no means are they to be paraded and ‘sold’ in such a manner. This is definitely not showing respect to women,” Chong said.

He added that the authorities have no power to stop the unscrupulous agents as most of them had registered businesses.

“All they need to do is pay RM50 to register a company and conduct their business. We cannot stop them from making money by selling foreign girls for marriages. But we can definitely stop them from parading the girls,” he said, adding that if the bridal parades continued, he would inform the Vietnamese embassy.

Most of the girls are from poor families and want to marry Malaysian men for a better life.

There have been cases where the girls were sincere and genuine in marrying local men and hoped for love to grow over time. But there were also reported cases where the girls were only after money or were tortured by their husbands, Chong said.

He also said an agent informed him that most of the men were single, divorced, rich or old. Some were even old enough to be the girl’s father.

He added that many of these buy-on-the-spot brides ran away after marriage.

Some of them were bought by old and wealthy men, and some by men who wanted nothing but sex. And after their wives ran away, the men complained that they had been cheated by the agents, and demanded their money back,” he said.

Chong urged local men who wished to marry foreign girls to be more careful and consider the consequences.

“Some of these foreign girls are underage or have ‘certain intentions’ and the men only come to know about them when problems start piling up after their marriages have been sealed,” he warned.

“Always keep your foreign wife’s passport, and always consider things like the hassle of renewing the permit, the stigma and shame of being cheated, and the three-year agony you have to endure before you’re legally separated and able to re-marry.”

Chong said most of the men who married Vietnamese wives claimed that they sought the agent’s services because they had been rejected by local girls.

Source TheStar : Read the details here

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