PADANG BESAR: It takes anything between RM10,000 (S$3,600) and RM15,000 for a Rohingya migrant to get hitched to a Malaysian - and a sure-fire ticket to permanent residency here a few years later.
"The payment includes fees for the middleman and the cost of getting a forged passport," 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.
"Illegals who have no documents can get a forged passport made through a middleman or relatives who have been in the country for some time," he said, adding that the forged passport would cost anything from RM1,000 to RM3,000.
Hussin said Bangladesh was the "preferred" passport, which would take about three months to be ready.
While waiting for his passport, Hussin said the illegal Rohingya would try to stay "under the radar" so that he is not detected by the authorities.
"Once he gets the passport, the only thing left is for the marriage to take place.
"It is not a problem as the religious department usually does not check on the authenticity of the passport.
"The 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," said Hussin, who also admitted that he was saving money to get his 18-year-old son to marry a Malaysian.