Greatest age difference in marriage

As reported by New Straits Times, 12th November 2006:

Sudar Marto of Kampung Duyong, Melaka, 105 married Ely Maryulianti Rahmat, 22 in September.

That’s a staggering 83-year age difference.

That is 12 years more than Che Mat Nor Musa and Wook Kundor’s 71-year age gap, although in this case, the groom is the older person.

Sudar, a businessman, has a 69-year-old wife who is bedridden, six sons, 19 grandchildren and two great grandchildren while Ely is a maid from Pekan Baru, Indonesia.

“We love each other very much and both our families did not object to the wedding,” said Sudar at their home in Kampung Permatang Duyong.

However, it was not love at first sight for them.

“I had known Ely for over a year before I realised that we were meant for each other,” said the smitten Sudar.

“She was working at my foster son’s house and we met quite often. I was attracted to her jovial yet gentle and soft-spoken nature. We got along very well together and I really missed her when we were not together.”

Recalling the afternoon in February when he proposed to her, Sudar said: “It happened at my foster son’s house. She was wearing a blue baju kurung and taking a break from her chores. I popped the question over tea and to my pleasant surprise, she immediately accepted my hand in marriage.”

That means she fancied him too and had already been thinking about getting hitched to him!

Sudar, however, admitted having butterflies in his stomach before he proposed.

If even a man of his worldly experience feels nervous, what more the rest of us?

“It did not come easy as I felt insecure at first because of the age gap. But I had a feeling that she loved me.”

At the time, rumours had begun circulating that he and Ely were spending a lot of time together.

So what drives a girl to agree to marry a man old enough to be her great-great-great grandfather?

Ely, who was quiet and shy when interviewed, said: “I did not marry him for his wealth. I love him and I want to care for him and his wife. The age difference is not a problem as it is the state of mind that matters.”

“I may be old in numbers but I am still young here,” Sudar said as he rested his palm on his chest.

Yes, that’s obvious, but how about lower down?

Sudar said he is a much happier man since he married Ely. “She is very mature and we understand each other very well. She is also very caring and entertaining.”

Ely’s chatty nature has not only won Sudar’s heart but also that of his first wife, Fatemah Mat.

Fatemah considered it Sudar’s good fortune to marry a young wife as she is no longer able to look into his needs.

“If I had been in good health I would not have allowed him to marry again. This union also benefits me as Ely takes good care of me.”

For a man his age, Sudar has excellent memory, hearing and eyesight. The secret to good health, Sudar said, is to eat the right food and be happy.

Sudar, who is a strict vegetarian, avoids cold drinks and takes a lot of traditional food supplements like tongkat ali, ubi jaga and mempoyang (juice from the boiled roots of plants) to keep his blood and body warm.

Sudar also spends his free time at his “mini zoo” at the back of his house where he rears goats, turkeys, geese, chickens and birds.

And to the big question about having children, Sudar said: “If it is fated, who are we to forego?”

Now, that’s a challenge to all of us younger guys.

source [link broken as of 17th Sept 2009]

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