Court: Son has legal basis to sue dad


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004

BY MAZNI MUSTAFA

IPOH: The High Court here ruled that a 22-year-old accounting diploma student has a reasonable cause of action to obtain a court order compelling his father to finance his education overseas. 

High Court deputy registrar Roslan Hamid said there was a legal basis to Foo Dui Geng’s action against his father, Woon Keat, 45, as provided for by Section 95 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act, 1976 on the duration of orders for custody and maintenance. 

(The section states that an order for custody or maintenance shall expire once the child reaches 18 or where the child is under physical or mental disability, or on the ceasing of such disability.)  

Roslan agreed with Dui Geng’s lawyer M. Kulasegaran that involuntary financial dependence was tantamount to physical and mental disability as stated in Section 95. 

He made the decision in chambers yesterday under the High Court Rules, 1990 after hearing a preliminary application by Woon Keat to strike out the case his son filed. 

Kulasegaran explaining to Dui Geng the outcome of the preliminary objection to strike out his application to compel his father to fund his education in Britain.

Woon Keat, represented by lawyer Wong Hau Lik, said his son had no cause of action against him because Section 87 of the same Act states his son was now over 18 years old, the limit for a child from a marriage to be entitled to protection and maintenance. 

Roslan fixed Friday to look into the affidavits submitted by both parties to decide on the merit of the case. 

Dui Geng is seeking a court order to compel his father to pay a lump sum of RM81,421 for his education fees, accommodation, food and other expenses to enable him to complete his final year studies at Nottingham Trent University in Britain in September. 

Alternatively, he wants his father to pay his monthly maintenance dues, which he claimed had been stopped after December 2000. 

He also wanted the payments to increase from RM400 to RM4,000 to reflect the increased expenses overseas if his father is unable to pay the lump sum. 

Dui Geng, who lived with his mother in Pinggir Rapat Perdana after his parents divorced in 1987, stated a variation order to a divorce petition had stated that his mother was to care for him while his father was to pay maintenance. 

He claimed that his father was a well-to-do businessman holding various assets and is operating a factory in Gopeng. 

Woon Keat, in his application, had described the claim as “oppressive and frivolous”, adding that Dui Geng was abusing the court process.  

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