PADANG BESAR: It takes anything between RM10,000 and RM15,000 for a Rohingya migrant to get hitched to a Malaysian â€“ and a sure-fire ticket to permanent residency here a few years later.
â€œThe payment includes fees for the middleman and the cost of getting a forged passport,â€ said Hussin, a Rohingya who married a widow 20 years his senior in Kangar four years ago.
Hussin, 45, added that the feat is hard to pull off because it is difficult to register a marriage in Malaysia without documents.
However, a forged passport has proven to be a way out for many.
â€œIllegals who have no documents can get a forged passport made through a middleman or relatives who have been in the country for some time,â€ he said, adding that the forged passport would cost anything from RM1,000 to RM3,000.
Hussin said Bangladesh was the â€œpreferredâ€ passport, which would take about three months to be ready.
While waiting for his passport, Hussin said the illegal Rohingya would try to stay â€œunder the radarâ€ so that he is not detected by the authorities.
â€œOnce he gets the passport, the only thing left is for the marriage to take place.
â€œIt is not a problem as the religious department usually does not check on the authenticity of the passport.
â€œThe rest will fall in place. The child from the marriage would be a Malaysian citizen and the Rohingya will be granted permanent resident status and be allowed to work later,â€ said Hussin, who also admitted that he was saving money to get his 18-year-old son to marry a Malaysian.