PETALING JAYA: Parents involved in custody tussles after each were given the rights to their children by the Syariah and civil courts should use the legal process to settle matters, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
"They can appeal to the Federal Court. Since this matter has attracted the attention of the public, the Government believes the court will give priority to these cases.
"The Attorney General will discuss with the families involved regarding this matter and I hope everyone will respect whatever decision is made by the court,” he said in a statement.
He said he had also held discussions with the A-G and several relevant ministers.
This issue has attracted public attention although cases of child custody rights are actually private matters involving the families, said Najib.
“Various parties have voiced their opinions regarding these cases. The Government is worried over the fate and welfare of the children involved if the cases dragged on,” he said
The Appeals Court last month dismissed the application of Muslim convert N. Viran (Izwan Abdullah) to set aside the Seremban High Court decision giving custody of her two children to their mother S. Deepa, a Hindu. The Syariah Court had granted Izwan custody of the children.
In another case, M Indira Gandhi was granted an order by Ipoh High Court order early this year to cite her former husband K. Patmanathan for contempt of court after he failed to hand over their youngest child, Prasana Diksa, 6.
The order was made according to the High Court decision on March 11, 2010.
In April 2009, the Ipoh Syariah High Court gave custody of their three children to their Muslim convert father K. Patmanathan (Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah).