MUAR, MALAYSIA: Matchmaking agencies here which offer foreign brides appear to be running out of business.
This is because most men prefer to look for their potential wives on their own instead of on the pricey service of agencies.
Businessman Tan It Sing, 34, said the agencies charged between RM15,000 and RM20,000 for such services, but he only spent half of that when he went looking for a bride on his own.
"Besides saving money, I was able to tour the country of my future wife. I stayed at her house to get to know her and her family better. It was so much cheaper."
A matchmaking agency spokesman who wished to be known only as Lim, said his business was greatly affected by the current trend of men looking for the brides themselves, adding that his agency would continue to offer the service.
Lim said his agency offered several incentives, including payment by instalments and allowing the women to stay with the men for a six-month trial period.
"If the women get pregnant, the men have to marry them."
He said most Chinese bachelors visited China for brides as there was no language barrier.
Lim said local men adored foreign brides because they were not too choosy and some had even accepted older men who were as old as their fathers.
Furthermore, he said, many foreign women chose Malaysia as it was known as a land of prosperity.
However, Lim concurred many marriages ended in divorce because of cultural differences, adding that his agency recommended the brides and it was up to the men to make the best out of the marriages.
Muar-Batu Pahat Fishermen's Association president Ser Boon Huat said about 30 fishermen in the Parit Jawa area married foreign brides through matchmaking agencies, adding that more than 50 per cent ended up in divorce.
He said many of them regretted spending their life savings for the brides.
"They are now back to being bachelors and many have given up hope on married life."
-- New Straits Times