Sunday, February 5, 2023

Single mother reunites with her children, but Perlis mufti stands by unilateral conversion

NewsSingle mother reunites with her children, but Perlis mufti stands by unilateral...

The saga of a single mother being forcefully separated from her 3 children has finally ended well after she managed to reunite with them after 3 years of fighting for her custody.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court had on 21 February ordered the immediate release of the children to the Penang-born mother, Loh Siew Hong from the care of Perlis state’s Social Welfare Department (JKM).

Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah granted Loh a writ of habeas corpus for the immediate release of her three children from unlawful detention by Islamic non-governmental organisation (NGO) Hidayah Center Foundation operator Nazirah Nanthakumari Abdullah.

“There was also earlier an interim ex-parte order dated 20 December 2019, which granted sole custody, care, and control of her children to the applicant,” he said during the proceedings, as quoted by The Star.

“The court orders still stand and are still valid. The court orders are not to be treated with impunity upon the face of contempt of court.”

“By the reason that the court orders still stand, therefore, I allow the application of writ of habeas corpus.”

“The three children are to be released forthwith into the sole custody, care, and control of the applicant.”

According to Malaysiakini, Loh also intends to challenge and nullify the Islamic conversion of her 3 children in a separate court action.

Meanwhile, the Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul said he expected the High Court to give Loh physical custody of her children, but he would find legal options to maintain their unilateral conversion that was performed in his state.

Speaking to FMT, Asri said the priority is to preserve the conversion of the three children, who were unilaterally and surreptitiously converted by their Muslim-convert father, Nagashwaran Muniandy, in 2020.

“We are not surprised by the decision on the custody rights,” he was quoted as saying.

“What we are defending is the Islamisation of the children, if they want to continue to embrace Islam. We are looking at other measures in terms of the law,” he stressed.

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