Jilted chef loses Viet wife and $7,800

Wong (left) showing a picture of Thi to Chong at Wisma MCA, Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR - A 39-year-old chef paid RM20,000 (S$7,900) for a bride from Vietnam only to find out after their wedding that she was forced to marry him.

To add to his heartache, Wong Chee Leong said his wife ran away two months after they were married.

Feeling cheated, he demanded a refund from the agent who arranged the marriage - identified only as Chan from Lenggong in Perak - but failed.

He lodged a police report and sought help from MCA Public Services and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong.

At a press conference at Wisma MCA yesterday, Wong said he spent most of his time at work, thus could not find a girlfriend.

He said a friend introduced him to Chan, who arranged a meeting with his bride Nguyen Thi Kim Hat, 20, in June.

Wong paid a RM8,000 deposit to bring her home and the remaining RM12,000 was to be paid after they got married.

The woman behaved normally in the beginning but started crying three days after arriving at Wong's house.

"I sent her back to the agent but was told that she was homesick," Wong said.

"I brought her home again and we registered our marriage on July 3, as scheduled."

In early September, the couple went to Vietnam to visit Thi's grandfather who she claimed was terminally ill.

Upon arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Wong said Thi told him that she had been forced to marry him because Chan had threatened to sell her into prostitution.

"I was shocked but did not give it much thought because I was meeting my mother-in-law for the first time.

"As the three of us were taking a break at an airport cafe, my wife walked away 'to buy something' and did not return," he said, adding that he then followed his mother-in-law back to her home.

After failing to persuade his wife to come home with him, he returned to Malaysia four days later.

"It is all right if you do not want to marry me, I will let you go, but let's get a divorce first," he said, urging Thi to show up to sign the papers.