SEREMBAN: Siti Aishah Abdullah (pic), the mother of S. Deepa who is embroiled in a custody battle with her Muslim ex-husband, has made an impassioned appeal to both the police and her former son-in-law for the return of her grandson.
Siti Aishah, 50, is also concerned over the well-being of her daughter, whom she has not seen for two months now.
Siti said that although their homes were close to each other, she did not know Deepa’s whereabouts as she had gone into hiding.
“I am worried for Deepa. I don’t know where she is or how she is keeping,” she said.
“Her nine-year-old daughter is with her and the girl has not attended school for about a year now.”
Siti Aishah embraced Islam after marrying Mohd Sofi Yusof, 53, about five years ago.
Deepa, 30, went into hiding after her 31-year-old ex-husband, Izwan Abdullah, abducted their six-year-old son from her home in Jelebu on April 9 – two days after the High Court had granted her custody of her two children, as well as a divorce.
She fears Izwan may also abduct their daughter.
Izwan later appealed against the High Court decision but a three-man bench of the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled on May 23 that custody of both children would go to his ex-wife.
Despite this, Izwan has refused to hand over the boy, claiming that the Syariah High Court gave him custody in August last year.
He has converted both children to Islam, allegedly without Deepa’s knowledge.
Siti Aishah, an administrative assistant at a school in Jelebu, called on Izwan to be considerate and return the boy to Deepa.
“Or he can leave the boy with me and this way Deepa will be able to visit her son.
“I am sure he can trust me because I am a Muslim,” she said, adding that Deepa’s two other siblings had also embraced Islam through marriage.
Siti Aishah said that despite professing different faiths, her husband and the other children were supportive of Deepa.
“Deepa is not only a good daughter but a good wife and mother.
“I pray and hope she will be reunited with her son quickly and can live without fear of her ex-husband,” she said.
Siti Aishah also appealed to the police to allow Deepa to have her son – in accordance with the court order – because she was close to him.
“This issue has been dragging on for too long now and the police should execute the order of the Appeals Court.
“I don’t even know if she has a roof over her head or enough to eat. She doesn’t want to trouble me with her problems,” she said.
She added that Deepa was only in contact with the Women’s Aid Organisation, which has been assisting in her custody battle.