Malaysians not allowed to marry in Saudi Arabia

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians are not allowed to marry in Saudi Arabia as it violates the law of that country, says Tourism and Culture Deputy Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

She said it had become a trend for Malaysians to tie the knot in Saudi Arabia, and the ministry would begin raising awareness among pilgrims and Malaysians not to get married there.

Mas Ermieyati admitted that she was also unaware of the matter until it was tabled by the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) at a meeting, here, today.

"So after this, the ministry will take responsibility to curb this trend by informing pilgrims or Malaysians who intend to marry there about the ban," she told a press conference, here, today.

She explained that the only non-Saudi Arabians allowed to have their marriage held in the country were permanent residents holding "Iqama" cards.

Mas Ermieyati earlier attended the Umrah Regulatory Meeting No. 4/2017 and a presentation by Jakim on the marriage issue and another on improvements in Umrah pilgrimage management at key national airports by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

She said those who married in Saudi Arabia would face problems in legally registering their marriage back in Malaysia as it would not be recognised by the Saudi Arabian government.

Mas Ermieyati also expressed concern over the trend of performing the "do-it-yourself" (DIY) Umrah which has gained traction after several social media users shared their experience of using the method.

"I would like to remind once again that the DIY Umrah is illegal under Saudi Arabian law, and this matter is being checked at the ministry level because performing an Umrah in this way poses a high risk to the pilgrims although the cost is low," she said.

In the meantime, she said, the government would introduce a special licence for companies organising Umrah plus tour packages on Oct 3.

"Currently we are in the final stage of preparing this special licensing scheme including the introduction of the Integrated Manasik Monitoring System (Imams) to better manage pilgrim groups," she said. — Bernama