For love or money? Immigration hunts Pakistani men who married Kelantanese

Kelantan immigration authorities say some 400 Pakistani men married local women in the state. (AFP pic)

TANAH MERAH: The Immigration Department in Kelantan says it has tracked down Pakistani nationals who marry local women, some more than twice their age, so they can operate businesses and remain longer in the country.

Its director Azhar Abdul Hamid said their presence had affected local traders.

“So far we have found 400 Pakistani men who have married local women in the state.

“Ten to 15 travel permits were cancelled after we found that the foreigners were not living with their wives.

“It does not seem normal for men aged between 20 and 30 to marry women who are more than 50 years old just to get licences to stay on in Malaysia to operate businesses,” he told reporters at the Immigration Detention Depot in Tanah Merah here today.

Azhar said most of the Pakistan nationals operated small retail stores and sold carpets, adding that their number is increasing.

“We are conducting regular visits to residential and business premises to check whether they are legally married and living with their spouses or if the objective of getting married was to stay longer in the country.”

Azhar said his department would carry out regular operations against illegal immigrants in the state, with close monitoring of the three entry points in Kelantan – Rantau Panjang, Tumpat and Jeli.