KUALA LUMPUR: Former deputy prime minister Tun Ghafar Baba has appointed a lawyer to handle his divorce from his second wife, Heryati Abdul Rahim, and urged the media to leave his private life out of the limelight.
Ghafar, when approached by reporters as he emerged from the Syariah Court registrar's office yesterday at about 12.25pm, said: “I respect you all (reporters), so you all have to respect me, too. I am a private citizen now; I am no longer with the Government. Do you understand?”
He then went on to question why the media kept highlighting his domestic problems although he was no longer in the public eye.
“We are husband and wife. We have got good and bad. Married couples do quarrel, don’t they?” he added.
Ghafar, who married Heryati in 1993, has appointed Dr Mohd Radzuan Ibrahim to represent him in the divorce case.
It was learnt that the divorce papers would be filed soon.
Heryati, 41, recently admitted in the Syariah High Court here to committing khalwat (close proximity) with three Bosnian students.
In a recent interview, she alleged that “a close relative” had tipped off religious officers, to sabotage her marriage.
She said she had pleaded guilty because she did not want to prolong the case and denied that she had committed any immoral act, saying the case was “technical” in nature.
On Thursday, Heryati filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus at the High Court, seeking the release of her six-year-old daughter, Kartika, whom she claimed was being “illegally detained” by Tamrin, Ghafar’s eldest son.
She accused Tamrin of taking her daughter away following a fight between them at her Taman Duta house on Sunday.
The application is scheduled for hearing before Justice S. Augustine Paul on Monday.
Police denied claims that Kartika had been “kidnapped” by Tamrin, saying she was with Ghafar in a safe place.