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'Our children and grandchildren live there': Couple get married in Batam to avoid giving up HDB flat

'Our children and grandchildren live there': Couple get married in Batam to avoid giving up HDB flat
Couples who get married in Batam are issued a marriage certificate.
PHOTO: Beritan Harian

A?widow and a widower, both?from Singapore, chose to get married in Batam, Indonesia, to save their respective HDB flats.

The marriage, considered a secret as the couple did not register their marriage in Singapore, took all of 15 minutes to be solemnised.

Married couples in Singapore are not allowed to own more than one HDB flat between them.

"I had been single for more than 10 years and my wife-to-be had inherited her flat after the death of her husband," the man told Berita Harian.

"We are both almost 60 years old and have our own children and grandchildren who live in our flats."

In order to have their union "accepted by the religion" and retain ownership of their respective flats at the same time, the couple opted to get married in Batam in early-2023.?

Their solemnisation was witnessed by their family members. The man has five children and three grandchildren while his wife has four children and four grandchildren.

"The solemnisation in Sekupang, Batam, was done and dusted within 15 minutes," said the man.

"We did it in the morning and took the last ferry back to Singapore. We even had time for a short 'honeymoon'.

"We were given a marriage certificate for us to register our marriage in Singapore."

A marriage solemniser in Singapore told Berita Harian that he had been approached by couples who wanted to get married without declaring to the?Registry of Muslim Marriages in order to retain their flat ownerships.

"I turned them away as this is against the law," he explained. "I don't know where they went to get married.

"These secret marriages are not recognised in the eyes of the law and the couples can run into legal issues in the long run."

This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.

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