COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG
It was an emotional and heart wrenching scene for the Loh Siew Hong and her three under-aged children at the Kangar, Perlis, police station, yesterday (February 14, 2022).
Loh was finally reunited with her three children albeit temporarily.
In the last week or so, Loh made two police reports about a missing children in Penang.
She had court order issued in March 2021, giving sole custody to her. Subsequently, her husband Nagahswaran Muniandy abducted the three children in her absence to be converted and placed in an Islamic centre in Perlis.
He was assisted by one Nazirah Nanthakumari from Penang.
Yesterday, Loh was accompanied to Kangar by DAP leaders Satees Muniandy and David Marshel. Satees and David went out of their way to assist the forlorn mother.
If not for their assistance, Loh might not made much headway in seeking custody of her children. These are the kind of ￼leaders we need in society especially those who are willing to fight for justice.
Before Loh reached the police station, the police had retrieved the children from a third party, an Islamic organisation in Perlis. Loh in the presence of the police was shown documents pertaining to the conversion of the three children.
This conversion was done by a person by the name of Nazirah Nanthakumari who herself is a convert. Apparently, Nazirah was not around when Loh met the police, officials from the state welfare and from the Perlis religious department.
Nazirah who operates an Islamic NGO in Bayan Lepas, Penang, was responsible for the conversion of the children. There are other serious allegations that she is also responsible for converting adults and children from broken non-Muslim families.
The Islamic authorities in Penang need to take note of the activities of Nazirah and whether she is acting on behalf of them.
It is disgusting and shameful for the likes of Nazirah to convert vulnerable children in children in poor and broken.
Soon there will be police reports lodged against her and the Islamic NGO she represents in Penang. I wonder how Islamic religious organisations can use persons like Nazirah to covert non-Muslims particularly underaged children without the consent of their parents.
Nagahswaran, the father, who has been involved drug related activities was influenced by Nazirah to the extent the children were handed over to her.
Since the father was in jail, Nazirah took one step ahead to convert the underaged children to be placed in a Islamic religious home in Perlis.
I wonder whether he knows about this conversion.
Despite my earlier criticisms of the police, I must say they that acted quite professionally on the matter of Loh’s custody.
In fact, they advised the mother since had the court sanctioned custody, she should take back her children. But unfortunately, it was an emotional, heart breaking scene at the police station.
The children cried upon seeing the mother but they were coached by Nazirah to the extent that they said that if they left with the mother, the father would commit suicide in prison.
Anyway, after much thinking, Loh decided to give some time to children before she could take custody. Since she has filed the habeas corpus application to the court in Kuala Lumpur, she would await such decision before taking custody of the children.
Meanwhile, it was agreed by the parties present that the children will be kept in a home in Jitra, Kedah, managed by the welfare department with only Loh having visitation rights.
Due the relentless efforts of Loh assisted by Satees and David, there is real possibility that children might be reunited with the mother.
The mother had the good sense to allow some time for the children to recover from the trauma foisted by the irresponsible father, Nazirah and the religious department officials.
The police were slow at first but when there was hue and cry for action they acted decisively. It was they who brought the children to the mother.
The police have the authority to act on these kind of matters. If only they had acted with speed and professionalism in the Indira Gandhi matter.
While the children are in the home of the welfare department in Jitra, Kedah, the mother, she alone, will have sole visiting rights.
Hopefully, she can use the visiting rights to explain to the children as to really happened in the past, why there was need to seek divorce from her irresponsible husband, how they were “brainwashed” by Nazirah and why their welfare and well-being are best guranteed by her, nobody else.
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