A 33-year-old man in northern Malaysia has married a 104-year-old woman, saying mutual respect and friendship had turned to love, a news report said Tuesday.

It was Muhamad Noor Che Musa's first marriage and his wife's 21st, according to The Star newspaper which cited a report in the Malay-language Harian Metro tabloid.

Muhamad, an ex-army serviceman said he found peace and a sense of belonging after meeting Wook Kundor, whom he said he initially sympathized with because she was childless, old and alone, the report said.

"I am not after her money, as she is poor," Muhamad reportedly said. "Before meeting Wook, I never stayed in one place for long."

He said he hoped to help his new bride to master Roman script while she taught him Islamic religious knowledge.

The report did not say if any of Wook's previous 20 husbands are still alive.

Malaysian Muslim men are allowed by their religion to take up to four wives at a time, but reports of women who marry more than once are rare. Muslim women do not practice polygamy.

Malaysia's 26 million population comprises about 60 percent Muslims, almost all ethnic Malays. Large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities are Buddhists, Hindus or Christians.