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Child Custody Fight: Law Gone Blind in Malaysia

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asked on Sep 14, 2010 at 21:04
by   Need Change ASAP
edited on Jun 2, 2016 at 14:00
 
Friday August 13, 2010

I don't want mummy, says girl in custody fight

By M. MAGESWARI

PUTRAJAYA: It was a heart-wrenching scene at the Court of Appeal here when three appellate judges tried to persuade an 11-year-old girl to give her mother a second chance.

Low Bi-Anne had initially refused to meet her mother Tan Siew Siew, 37, when the custody battle case was called up. The mother has been given custody of the child.
However, Bi-Anne, who was in tears, sat close to her father, real-estate negotiator Low Swee Siong, 40.

Upon hearing submissions by the parties, Court of Appeal judge Justice Sulong Matjeraie, who chaired a three-man panel, asked the girl to give her mother a chance to show her love.

"Your mother came all the way from England to see you," he said.

Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali told her: "Your mother took care of you for nine months. Give it a try."

Upon hearing this, Bi-Anne said: "She took care of me for nine months but my father took care of me for 10 years."

Justice Jefrey Tan Kok Wha told the girl: "I am sure (both your parents) love you equally."

The girl then wept and said: "I don't love her."

Lawyer T. Susamma, who acted for the girl's mother, said her client was heartbroken at not having access to her daughter. Susamma applied to the Bench for the girl's father, Low, to surrender her birth certificate and all school records.

Counsel Chan Kah Ling, who represented Low, requested that the court give them 14 days or a month to comply with the order.

Justice Sulong ordered that the birth certificate be given to Tan within seven days.
The couple married on Aug 2, 1999. When they divorced on June 19, 2006, the custody of the girl was given to the father.

After two years, the mother applied for custody.

On Aug 6, 2008, High Court judge Justice Hinshawati Sharif ordered that custody of the girl be given to the mother and the father be given reasonable access. However, the order could not be executed because Bi-Anne did not want to go to her mother.
On July 27, the father appealed to the Court of Appeal against the lower court ruling but later withdrew it. Yesterday was the execution of the High Court order for the custody of the child to the mother.
Published: Monday September 13, 2010 MYT 4:21:00 PM

Court cites dad for contempt for not handing daughter to wife

By M. MAGESWARI

KUALA LUMPUR: A real-estate negotiator has been cited for contempt of court and sent to Sungai Buloh jail for his failure to hand over his 11-year-old daughter to his former wife in a custody battle for the girl.

Family Court Judicial Commissioner Justice Yeoh Wee Siam also fined Low Swee Siong RM20,000 in default two months' jail.

Justice Yeoh said Low would be fined another RM400 for each day he did not surrender his daughter or her passport.

His former wife, London-based restaurant manager Tan Siew Siew, 37, had won the custody of Low Bi-Anne in a High Court ruling in 2008.

In her judgment on Monday, Justice Yeoh said she was not satisfied with the explanation given by Low, 40.

He knows that he should comply with the court order. I had given him the last opportunity to hand over his daughter to his ex-wife.

In her ruling, Justice Yeoh said Low could have exercised his parental supervision by encouraging his daughter to come to court. "It is his duty to comply with the court order," she said.

Justice Yeoh said Low had ignored court orders thrice and that this was contempt of court.

Upon hearing this, Low who stood near the witness box, gripped both hands on his back and looked down.

The judge also dismissed a stay application by Low's lead counsel Ravi Nekoo over the court ruling.

Questioned by Tan's lead counsel Kiran Kaur Dhaliwal Low said he was only trying respect his daughter's wishes.

"I tried my best to persuade her to attend the court."

He said Bi-Anne was now staying at his home in USJ 19, Subang Jaya with his eldest sister and that he did not have enough time to collect her passport that was kept at his mother's house.

Low also said he asked Bi-Anne to come to court but she was frightened, cried and refused to attend the court proceedings on Monday.

When questioned by Ravi, he said Bi-Anne was under Tan's care between Aug 12 and Sept 4 after the girl was handed over to his ex-wife during the Court of Appeal proceedings.
He said Bi-Anne told him that she had attempted to run away from Tan twice because her mother had disallowed her from keeping in touch with him.

She tried to climb out from the window on one occasion. Asked if he could force Bi-Anne to come to court, he said 'no'.

He said he saw Bi-Anne and Tan at a shop on Sept 4 and that the girl later followed him after she cried and held him tightly.

At the court proceedings earlier Monday, Justice Yeoh revealed that Tan had also succeeded in her bid on Thursday to get an order from the Family Court to take Bi-Anne to the United Kingdom.

At the Court of Appeal on Aug 12, three appellate judges had to persuade Bi-Anne to give her mother a second chance.

The couple married in 1999 and divorced in 2006.

The custody of the girl was given to the father but two years later, Tan applied for custody.

On Aug 6, 2008, High Court judge Justice Hinshawati Sharif ordered that custody of the girl be given to the mother and the father be given reasonable access.

However, the order could not be executed because Bi-Anne did not want to go to her mother.

On July 27, the father appealed to the Court of Appeal against the lower court ruling but later withdrew it.
Tuesday September 14, 2010

Dad to pay for ignoring order

By M. MAGESWARI

KUALA LUMPUR: A real-estate negotiator has been cited for contempt of court for failing to hand over his 11-year-old daughter to his former wife in a custody battle for the girl.

Family Court Judicial Commissioner Justice Yeoh Wee Siam fined Low Swee Siong RM20,000 in default of two months' jail.

Justice Yeoh said Low would be fined another RM400 for each day he did not surrender his daughter or her passport.

His former wife, London-based restaurant manager Tan Siew Siew, 37, had won custody of Low Bi-Anne in a High Court ruling in 2008.

In her judgment yesterday, Justice Yeoh said she was not satisfied with the explanation given by Low, 40.

He knows that he should comply with the court order. I have given him the last opportunity to hand over his daughter to his ex-wife.

In her ruling, Justice Yeoh said Low could have exercised his parental supervision by encouraging his daughter to come to court.

"It is his duty to comply with the court order," she said.

Justice Yeoh said Low had ignored court orders thrice and that this was contempt of court.

The judge also dismissed a stay application by Low's lead counsel Ravi Nekoo over the court ruling.

Upon questioning by Tan's lead counsel Kiran Kaur Dhaliwal yesterday, Low said he was only trying respect his daughter's wishes.

"I have tried my best to persuade her to come to court."

Low said he informed Bi-Anne to come to court but she was frightened, cried and refused to attend the court proceedings yesterday.

Questioned by Ravi, he said Bi-Anne was under Tan's care between Aug 12 and Sept 4 after the girl was handed over to his ex-wife during the Court of Appeal proceedings.
He said Bi-Anne told him that she had attempted to run away from Tan twice because her mother had disallowed her from keeping in touch with him.

"She tried to climb out from the window on one occasion. She also tried to get out through the door but failed in both attempts because the alarm went off," he said.

Asked if he could force Bi-Anne to come to court, he said 'no'.

He said he saw Bi-Anne and Tan at a shop on Sept 4 and that the girl had followed him, crying and holding on to him.

At the court proceedings yesterday, Justice Yeoh said Tan had also succeeded in her bid to get an order from the Family Court to take Bi-Anne to Britain.

At the Court of Appeal on Aug 12, three appellate judges had to persuade Bi-Anne to give her mother a second chance.

The couple married in 1999 and divorced in 2006. The custody of the girl was given to the father but two years later, Tan applied for custody.

On Aug 6, 2008, High Court judge Justice Hinshawati Sharif ordered that custody of the girl be given to the mother and the father be given reasonable access. However, the order could not be executed because Bi-Anne did not want to go to her mother.
Two months ago, Low appealed to the Court of Appeal against the lower court ruling but later withdrew it.
Published: Tuesday September 14, 2010 MYT 2:20:00 PM

Dad pays fine, released from prison

By M. MAGESWARI

KUALA LUMPUR: Real estate negotiator Low Swee Siong, cited for contempt of court for failing to hand over his daughter to his former wife, has been released from Kajang Prison after a close friend paid the RM20,000 fine imposed by the Family Court. Low was released at 1pm Tuesday.

Family Court Judicial Commissioner Justice Yeoh Wee Siam had on Monday fined Low RM20,000 in default of two months' jail.

Justice Yeoh had said Low would be fined another RM400 for each day he did not surrender his daughter or her passport.

His former wife, London-based restaurant manager Tan Siew Siew, 37, had won custody of Low Bi-Anne in a High Court ruling in 2008.

At the Court of Appeal on Aug 12, three appellate judges had to persuade Bi-Anne to give her mother a second chance.

The couple married in 1999 and divorced in 2006. The custody of the girl was given to the father but two years later, Tan applied for custody.

On Aug 6, 2008, High Court judge Justice Hinshawati Sharif ordered that custody of the girl be given to the mother and the father be given reasonable access. However, the order could not be executed because Bi-Anne did not want to go to her mother.

Two months ago, Low appealed to the Court of Appeal against the lower court ruling but later withdrew it.
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answered on Sep 20, 2010 at 02:54
by   nokia
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 06:57
 
It's a crazy system that has gone haywire. We are really sorry for the innocent. No point infighting a case in such courts. Its gone crazy. Save your time and money. Lawyers take your money. You dont' get justice as judges don't care for you.
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answered on Sep 20, 2010 at 17:16
by   Feeling Pity
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 07:10
 
I read this case on the newspaper everyday and everyday I saw many people feel so pitiful to the girl just because she shouted "I don't want mommy!" And everyday the media will publish how pitiful the dad is looking for her during her staying with her mom days. Everyone also point fingers and scolded the mother for not being fair why left her after 10 years and now come back to take her. Now how far do we know the true stories behind? And the media, why kept reporting about the father? Or did the father went to the media and ask them to write about this stories? How come the stories reporting every week is like the Hong Kong series so exaggerated? This is just any other family matters that need the court ruling. Why the coverage is like celebrities news?

The girl is just 11 years old, how can she make a wise judgement on her future? If you have an 11 years old girl, are you sure she can make a wise judgement without any influence? Come on, the judges are fair, they will not simply just conclude the girl should go with the mother because she got better income. I am sure the facts have already presented to their eyes and telling the judges otherwise. Laws were not made in just yesterday, they were made from ages ago. Many cases and facts have been recorded and followed. The father already committed contempt of court and it is 3 times in a row, shouldn't he be punished? So that he learned his lessons? If he can break the laws just like that, then anyone of us can too right? Then there is no need courts and laws in our country anymore. Just hire a few men, and go grab what is yours and no one will help you! He really set a very bad example!

The father said the girl refused to attend court and he cannot force her to come. Then how else he can guide his daughter in the future if tell her what to do also doesn't work? Oh I forgot, she doesn't stay with the father, she stay with her aunt. Maybe her aunt can tell her what to do, I wondered... I wonder what perspective the father have since he can't even manage his own daughter? Really pathetic and shameful! Only knows how to point fingers...
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answered on Sep 20, 2010 at 18:51
by   Feeling Pity
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 07:13
 
Since the father gladly ignore the system and went ahead for contempt the court, 3 TIMES, I would think it is the judge who thinks that the father deserved to be punished and not the mother push for it. It is totally 2 different things. Is the mother using the force method? Don't you think that to legally have the custody of a child has to be done via law? And when agreements turned ugly, whatever stories also will come out.

Choosing to be quiet doesn't mean that the mother already deem guilty... we should let her voice out fairly or at least give her the benefits of the doubts. Who are we to judge people's family matters? Would you like people to judge yours?

Spending one night in jail because he cannot come up with the fined of RM20k is nothing to do with the girl or the mother/ex-wife. This is merely the punishment for pushing his luck with the law. The father deserved it! If he thinks that spending one night in jail for the daughter is worth it, then I am sure paying the fined RM400 a day till she is legally 21 years old wouldn't be a problem and the father should willingly accept the terms. Since he shows public that he is such a great dad and willing to take the fall for her daughter's unwilling action, right!

So ladies, choose your marital partner wisely! If not, you may end up with a ugly divorce and custody case like this! Where MAN cry to public for pitiness!
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answered on Sep 21, 2010 at 06:02
by   Better Wife
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 07:36
 
Interesting to note that someone would prefer to go to jail and choose to go to jail because of a daughter who does not want to follow the mother. Isn't that stupid of him?

Father deserves the jail because he challenged the law. Isn't this what civilization is all about? Forced Slavery, Child Brides, Arrange Marriages, Wife Burning and many more laws which were deemed acceptable years ago are now outlawed or are being challenged in today's society. We have ISA and Death Penalty and these are being challenged by a few brave man and women.

In US a teenage successfully sued the father for causing him to lose his childhood due to the father's high expectation. 30 years ago parents would support teacher should their child be disciplined but today teachers need lawyers to defend them. Why? This is because children have rights.

How can the father guide the daughter if tell the daughter also don't want to do. Unfortunately there are parents who still practice the old thoughts that when adult speaks, children must shut up and listen. I too have children and I always worry what if they make bad decision in their life but I need to grow up to accept them back should they do make mistake because I love them!

I have friends who have failed in their early life but who picked up their life with support from family and friends and have been successful though they missed the chance to drive luxury cars and live in mansion. Is this wrong?

So the law says Bi-Anne mother is better in providing Bi-Anne a better future but based on what facts? The mother works as a Manager in a restaurant. How much does a restaurant manager earns weekly plus tips? Is the income sufficient to provide food, education, accommodation and medical insurance? Who looks after the child while the mother works? Will her safety be compromised? Will she be staying and raised up half her life in child care center? Bearing in mind she is Asian.

Nothing wrong with having a rich boy friend if it is true but can the child accept and be accepted by him? I am also curious as to why the mother can not return to Malaysia and get a job to be with the child and develop a mother and daughter relationship? She is not some highly paid executive. There are many restaurant managers here in Malaysia raising families. After all it is the mother daughter thing that the mother wants and not whatever she has in UK. Is UK such a fantastic place to raise children with good future promised? 

On the contempt of court, mother can support the judgement by remaining silence or could request stiffer penalties or when father plead for leniency, mother can object or support. So what did the mother do to ensure the her child's father did not suffer if she feels it is not mother's fault?

By the way, Family court are specially made to settle civil family matters and are not to try criminals. There are other High Court division to do that.
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answered on Sep 21, 2010 at 15:35
by   Feeling Pity
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 07:38
 
@Better Wife

With all the cases happening surrounding us, I am sure you know what is right and what is wrong. There are no better ways to do things like this except for what is their best option at hands. We do not know well both the parents background and their stories behind. How can you pass judgement and give pity marks to the father? Is that fair? What is it turns out to be the mother who publicly announced the news? Would you have give extra marks to the mother instead when the silence one is the father?

I have already said, a custody case which is like any other normal custody case can be open announce to the world by media is already being plotted. How many custody case a day the courts have to handle? I am sure this is not the only one. Would you or your friend publicly announce this to the world? Will you even considered how your child can face the public in future with all this publicly announced?

Why penalise a woman who has to work to survive moreover in overseas where life is already hard enough. Would a woman bring a child along to tie her down if she thinks she is not ready? Will you made a decision to do something if you are not ready? Even you also have to learned to accept the fate of your loved ones! Why so fast pass a judgement saying that the judge decided is because the mother is earning is working overseas, not very high prospective of jobs and how she is going to take care of the child? Now let me ask you, is she would be back to Malaysia to work, would she still have to get people to look after the child since she has to work? How sure are you the facilities in UK is so much lousy than the ones we have in Malaysia? Would a mother simply leave their kids with anyone? Before you give the mother a chance, you already pass a death sentence judgement on her.

We should not comment about how the things should be done and whether the thing is done correctly or not. There may be more than to what we can see or read from the newspaper or even heard from any other parties or people. As long as both of the parents is not there to defend themselves, things could be biased at the end.

We are just having the difference in thinking and opinions. Humans are complicated and we somehow will make mistakes. But that doesn't mean we should stop there and do nothing to redeem what we made wrong. Or even stop to provide what is good for our loved ones. No hard feelings, you are a mom! Imagine if you were at the mom's position, can you feel is it that simple with the whole thing that is going on? Fighting with the man you once love and thought about the reason why you left in the first place?
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answered on Sep 21, 2010 at 16:57
by   Better Wife
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 07:46
 
@Feeling Pity

I am sure you are aware this is a public forum and you came in to join so be prepared for the heat. This is a good opportunity for you to tell us your side of the story.

I am not saying the mother is wrong and I have said I do not and will not condemn motherly instinct. She could have made a wrong decision in her life by giving up the child but I fully support her when she comes to redeem her past.

I come to know from the reporters that their first contact was by accident in Court of Appeal where they were covering PKR Tien Chuan case on the same day. Somehow the case did not came out for mentioned so the reporters start talking to the child family members. Now I would like to know who plan for PKR case to clash with this case and then no PKR case?

Someone wrote about the rich boyfriend and I have also said it is OK unless the mother is a mistress so child must be able to accept and be accepted.

If the child stay here there are both parents family to help in caring unless the mother's family is not able to but we have seen the father's family is able to. My children was with my family members when I was working and sick.

I know life is hard earning a living overseas as I myself having gone to many countries for business. You have admitted it is not easy but you are prepared. How are you prepared? The restaurant could for short period allow you flexi hours but not when other staff feels the unfair treatment over you just because of your child. Restaurant needs business and profit. They can not be employing paying full time but work part time. Unless of course you are also the owner or some very personal friend of the owners. I think unless you have decided to renounce the world only will you be able to care, protect and provide for Bi-Anne in UK without family support. This is why people commented that you have some rich boyfriends otherwise you would not be able to make in UK with a growing up child and no family support.

The method of trying to give the child a good future is not correct. The mother is HOPING when Bi-Anne is taken from the father and into England, Bi-Anne will have a good future. Like I say this is a hope yet to be seen. Mother should love the child and win her heart but looks like mother is rushing for something only the mother knows and we can guess. Love can not be forced or hope but needs to be won and that is not by forcing the child.  

Mother has left the child for more than 10 years. Do you know what is the hurt like? Going to school and being with friends is a nightmare when friends start teasing saying things like Bi-Anne was found in rubbish bin, mother is no good person, mother don't love her, etc. Now Mother wants to change all of the hurts of 10 years in only a few months? Now mother have put the only person who has ever protected Bi-Anne, love her and provided for her in prison.

Again I say the method the mother is using (through court by force of law) to win back the child is not correct. When I say win I mean a whole happy cheerful active and smiling Bi-Anne. Hold back the motherly desire for a good future for the girl and win back Bi-Anne love and trust first.
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answered on Sep 21, 2010 at 16:59
by   Kangaroo
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 07:50
 
Good, I am glad to read some matured discussion. In the background of a Kangaroo system that doesn't care about feelings, emotions and what is really fair or good for the child.

As matured and correct thinking people both father and mother should opt for a best solution out of this and come to terms amicably and one option would be to go for mediation to resolve the issues.

The poor girl can have good education in a few years time rather than allow to rot in this system here. Rest easy do not burn your bridges. Have patience, remember during World War 2, the Japanese were most hated lot but today look, just 10 to 20 years later... all forgotten. The Japanese are highly respected now. I was all in a lifetime. So please, have patience and don't fight in our Kangaroo Court... both parents rejoice and be happy to have a beautiful smart girl for a daughter. Respect her wishes and start to behave in a humane way where this girl will be proud. Otherwise, choose to fight and tear apart one another and destroy this poor girl.

The choice is with both of you not the Judge or your lawyers. You tell your lawyers your deep feelings and that the last thing you ever want is to destroy your beautiful daughter inside and out. Have mercy on this girl who has a little voice.
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answered on Sep 21, 2010 at 17:29
by   Feeling Pity
edited Jun 5, 2016 at 08:07
 
@ Better Wife

I am only voicing out what is in my opinion. Of course my opinion is to let the public knows that if one parent is wrong then both parents also wrong. They are the start to all this. But if everyone just standing by the father, what is left for the mother? Same thing what is the child is with the mother and the father is the one that came back from UK with another girlfriend and fighting this custody and the mom cried to the media? Would you have side the mother then? Judging from the child shouting I don't want DADDY!

Again you are pointing fingers! Come on, read your statements, talking as if I am working in UK? As if I am the mother? Oh please! Assumptions plays a very well instincts for you then! That statements you can tell out separately if you want the mother to read it. From that statement, you have already make a decision that the child should stay here. Then why being a hypocrite saying supporting the mother? Anyway, if the system is so ****-up then all of us were taught BS when we are young and learning through our educational systems.
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answered on Sep 21, 2010 at 18:14
by   Ginnie
edited Jun 4, 2016 at 04:38
 
Today, our Judiciary is not only blind but it is deaf too. But bet you it sure isn't dumb. It wields a long arm too. Thanks to the idiocity of some who come here to fight
over custody of their children in courts.

The answer is very clear - children have a voice. Once they are at a thinking age we ought to listen to them.
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answered on Sep 21, 2010 at 19:20
by   Kangaroo
edited Jun 4, 2016 at 04:40
 
Dad seeks stay order to stop Bi-Anne from leaving for Britain

By mages@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: A real-estate negotiator who lost custody of his daughter to his former wife is applying for a stay order to stop the girl from being taken to Britain.

Low Swee Siong, 40, filed the application for an interim stay order through his lawyer Pushpa Ratnam at the Court of Appeal registry yesterday.

The application was in relation to the orders made by Family Court Judicial Commissioner Justice Yeoh Wee Siam against Low.

Pushpa told reporters that the stay order was needed pending disposal of her client's appeal at the Court of Appeal.

She said she had filed six appeals for Low at the High Court registry here at 2pm yesterday in relation to the custody battle case.

The appeals were on the Family Court ruling allowing the mother Tan Siew Siew, 37, - a restaurant manager in London - to take their daughter Bi-Anne to Britain; ordering the surrender of the girl's passport; dismissing Low's interim access to the girl; finding and convicting him for contempt of court and refusing a stay order.

"The father is the equal guardian. Where are his rights?" Pushpa told The Star earlier.

She said there is an application pending at the High Court to vary the custody order given to the mother.

The court will not hear this application until the father returns the child to the mother.

"It is not the case where the father does not want to return the child to the mother but it is the child who is refusing to go back to her," she said.

Pushpa added that the court made the order without speaking to the child and not allowing her to express her wishes.

The couple married in 1999 and divorced in 2006 and custody of Bi-Anne was given to the father but two years later, Tan applied and won custody and Low was given reasonable access.

However, the order could not be executed because Bi-Anne did not want to go to her mother.

On Sept 13, Low was cited for contempt of court and jailed for failing to pay a fine for not obeying the court order.

He was released after a friend paid the RM20,400 fine.
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