Police officer Deputy Supt Derek Lai has caught many criminals, but the biggest catch of his life is none other than the person who stole his heart.
"It was love at first sight for me," the 37-year-old investigating officer with the state Criminal Investigation Department unabashedly confessed.
That was 10 years ago when DSP Lai met his match, Mou Ei Leen, in Kuantan in the course of his work.
But the policeman did not get to woo her until he got her number several weeks after many attempts.
A few months later, they started dating.
On Valentine's Day yesterday, the duo finally became man and wife at a mass marriage registration ceremony at the Ipoh Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association Hall here.
Their courtship endured a decade of him being transferred all over the country, from the Bukit Aman police headquarters to Johor Baru before his latest posting to Ipoh about eight months ago.
"Even though we had a long-distance relationship, everything worked out fine.
"After 10 years, we felt it was time to tie the knot and what better and more meaningful day than on Valentine's Day?" he said.
Businesswoman Mou, 34, said DSP Lai is a gentleman who cares deeply for her.
"I will move to Ipoh after our wedding ceremony," she said.
The couple, together with 16 other pairs, exchanged their vows before assistant registrar of marriages Datuk Ooi Foh Sing.
For 33-year-old technician Foo Wen Kang and Tan Soo Yin, 30, distance apart was no issue too.
Foo was based in Sungai Siput - their hometown - while Tan was a tuition teacher in Kampar, about 70km away. They dated for two years.
"We are constantly on the phone. Plus, she comes back to Sungai Siput every weekend," he said
Also getting hitched were Calvin Chong, 21, and Lim Poh Yi, 18, the youngest couple at yesterday's event.
"We met through a social networking application a year ago.
"I fell in love with her when we met up after weeks of exchanging messages," said Chong, a cook in Singapore.
Chong said he came from a single-parent family and wanted to get married early.
"I want to have a happy family.
"Our parents are also very supportive," he said.