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Why Malaysian Men Are Choosing Southern Thailand for Polygamous Marriages

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On June 9, a gathering took place at the Narathiwat Islamic Religious Council where men and women were briefed on the prerequisites for a marriage ceremony. (Photo: Narathiwat Islamic Religious Council Facebook)

In the scenic southern provinces of Thailand, an interesting phenomenon has emerged—Malaysian men are increasingly choosing these locales for their ceremonial polygamous marriages. According to the Bernama news agency, no less than 30 couples from Malaysia take part in this ceremony at the Narathiwat Islamic Religious Council every month.

While most of these couples originate from the neighboring Malaysian states of Kelantan and Terengganu, it’s not uncommon for some to come from as far afield as Kuala Lumpur. This rising trend has piqued the curiosity of many. However, it’s far from a simple procedure. “Getting married in southern Thailand isn’t as straightforward as one might think. There are rigorous conditions to meet, including thorough background checks on the couple,” elucidates Abdul Aziz Mamat, the deputy president of the provincial council, in an interview with Bernama.

Interestingly, Mr. Aziz did not delve into why Narathiwat has become such a popular choice for Malaysians entering into polygamous unions, a practice permissible in Islam. Yet, Narathiwat isn’t the only southern province seeing this trend. The allure of tying the knot extends across other southern border provinces as well.

The Malaysian consulate in Songkhla has reported similar interest, with approximately 300 Malaysian couples getting married in Songkhla province each month. This revelation came to light in February through a report from the Malaysian-language daily, Sinar Harian, cited by Malay Mail.

Consul Ahmad Fahmi Ahmad Sarkawi adds that Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, and Satun are other favored locales for these matrimonial ceremonies. The intrigue around why these provinces specifically draw such a significant number of Malaysian couples remains largely unspoken, leaving room for speculation and further investigation.

In a world where marriage customs differ vastly, the situation in southern Thailand offers a fascinating glimpse into the intersection of cultural practices and legal frameworks. The mysterious allure of these provinces for polygamous unions continues to capture attention, attracting couples willing to navigate the stringent conditions for the opportunity to celebrate their union in this unique setting.


  1. Aisha K. June 18, 2024

    Why are these men even considering polygyny? It’s outdated and problematic.

    • Muhammad R. June 18, 2024

      Polygyny is part of our religious freedoms. Why shouldn’t people practice their beliefs?

    • Aisha K. June 18, 2024

      But it often leads to inequality and unhappiness for the women involved. Is it really worth it?

      • Nur A. June 18, 2024

        Not all polygynous marriages are unhappy. Some women agree to it and even find benefits in it.

      • Aisha K. June 18, 2024

        Those cases are rare, and it’s usually because women feel pressured by societal or familial expectations.

  2. JohnD June 18, 2024

    It seems like they’re just trying to bypass strict regulations in Malaysia. Isn’t that unethical?

    • Sara L. June 18, 2024

      It’s not about ethics; it’s about cultural and religious practices that laws should respect.

    • JohnD June 18, 2024

      But when those practices undermine women’s rights, isn’t there a problem?

      • Hassan Y. June 18, 2024

        That’s a colonial mindset. Polygyny is halal in Islam, and we shouldn’t let Western morals dictate our practices.

      • JohnD June 18, 2024

        Fair enough, but there should still be safeguards to protect the vulnerable parties involved.

  3. Lina M. June 18, 2024

    Why specifically choose southern Thailand? Seems like a peculiar choice.

    • Yusuf Omar June 18, 2024

      Southern Thailand has lenient processes compared to Malaysia. It’s not difficult to understand the appeal.

    • Lina M. June 18, 2024

      But surely there are other places with similar leniency? Why not those?

      • Yusuf Omar June 18, 2024

        Cultural ties and geographical proximity make it more convenient. It’s easier than going through the slow bureaucratic maze back home.

  4. Cathy J. June 18, 2024

    I can’t believe this is still a thing in the 21st century. We should be moving towards more progressive values.

    • Ahmad June 18, 2024

      Respecting cultural diversity means accepting practices you may not agree with. It’s not about being regressive.

    • Cathy J. June 18, 2024

      But cultural practices shouldn’t come at the cost of gender equality!

      • Ahmad June 18, 2024

        True gender equality means respecting the choices of women who willingly enter into polygamous marriages.

  5. Rizwan June 18, 2024

    Does anyone know how these background checks work? Seems kinda invasive.

    • Hilda M. June 18, 2024

      Background checks ensure that both parties can legally marry. It’s a necessary step to prevent fraud.

    • Rizwan June 18, 2024

      Still feels like an invasion of privacy to me. There should be limits.

      • Hilda M. June 18, 2024

        Privacy is important, but so is legality. It’s a balance that needs to be maintained.

  6. Siti June 18, 2024

    This whole trend just highlights how outdated our own laws are in Malaysia.

  7. Ali Baba June 18, 2024

    Everyone’s missing the point. It’s about having the freedom to practice our religion as we see fit.

  8. Hanna June 18, 2024

    I’m curious about the women’s perspective. Are they truly okay with this or pressured into it?

    • Zainab A. June 18, 2024

      There are many reasons a woman might agree to polygamy. Sometimes it’s a practical choice.

    • Hanna June 18, 2024

      Practical or not, does it reflect genuine consent?

      • Zainab A. June 18, 2024

        Consent is complex. What may seem like coercion to you could be a considered choice for them.

  9. Ken W. June 18, 2024

    Interesting choice, but what about the immigration laws in Thailand? Aren’t they tough on foreigners?

  10. Mariam June 18, 2024

    So much for progress. This sounds like a step backward for gender equality.

    • Farid June 18, 2024

      You can’t judge other cultures by Western standards. It’s not fair to impose.

    • Mariam June 18, 2024

      Maybe, but fairness should be a universal concept. We can’t ignore human rights.

  11. Rahman777 June 18, 2024

    It’s about religious obligations. Simple as that.

  12. Leah June 18, 2024

    Are there any stats on how many of these marriages succeed? Seems risky.

  13. Ismail June 18, 2024

    So many judgments from people who don’t understand the cultural context.

    • Carlos June 18, 2024

      Maybe, but that doesn’t mean we can’t critique something that might be inherently problematic.

  14. Keira P. June 18, 2024

    Fascinating piece of information. Makes you wonder about the societal influences behind this.

    • Yunus M. June 18, 2024

      Society always shapes personal choices. We can’t isolate one from the other.

    • Keira P. June 18, 2024

      True, but it’s still something worth questioning and understanding better.

  15. Emil A. June 18, 2024

    What about the children from these marriages? Do they face any legal complications?

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