GEORGE TOWN: Forty three couples chose Valentine's Day today to tie the knot here in Penang.

At the Che Hoon Khor Moral Uplifting Society, 26 couples participated in a mass wedding registration while at the state Registration Department, there were 17 couples.

Among them were childhood sweethearts Khoo Sau Yong, 28, and his wife Yeong Yee Shiuan, also 28, who decided to say their marriage vows after 11 years of courtship.

Khoo said they had known each other since Form Five.

"Several years back, I sent an SMS to Yeong to wish her Happy Valentine's Day and proposed to her.

"When she replied in the affirmative, I started to plan for our big day and our families too gave their blessing," he said when met at the society hall this morning.

Yeong's mother, Chin Siew Fong, 56, said she was happy that her daughter's love has finally led to matrimony.

"This year, I will be having a double celebration -- Chinese New Year and welcoming my son-in-law into the family," she added.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Tjendra, 29, from Medan, Indonesia and his wife, Law Yong Lin, 23, stole the limelight at the state Registration Department.

"I did not expect so many people to join us together in declaring our marriage vows.

"There are similar events in Indonesia but this was somewhat different. I will remember this day for the rest of my life," Jeffrey said, adding that Chinese New Year this year would also be more joyous for both families here in Penang and Indonesia.

He said in terms of culture, there was not much difference but he needed to adapt himself with his new family.

"In Indonesia, I am used to conversing in Malay but the Chinese here speak in the Hokkien dialect," he said, noting that their reception would be in December this year.

Besides Jeffrey, another Indonesian couple, Suciani Merdekawati, 26, and Joshua David, also 26, also celebrated their big day today.

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Forty three couples chose Valentine's Day today to tie the knot here in Penang. (pix by AMIR IRSYAD OMAR)

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