Foster mum loses to real mother

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 16 Apr 2016

Happy outcome: (From right) Lee and her mother Sia being advised by lawyer Lim Aun Phung after the court decision.

GEORGE TOWN: A foster mum lost her appeal against a lower court’s decision to grant custody of a six-year-old girl to her biological mother.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Azmi Ariffin held that the well-being of the child, in the long run, should lie with her natural mother.

“It is understood that the natural mother, Lee Xie Li, had handed the child over to Lim Lee Poh to protect the child from the biological father, who is a drug addict.

“The letter said to be written by the girl’s grandmother and signed by both the grandmother and mother were not prepared by them. It was said that they were told that the papers, which they had signed, were to grant Lim temporary custody of the child,” he said in his decision yesterday.

Azmi said freelance insurance consultant Lim (pic), 46, and Lee, 25, were “seperti langit dengan bumi” (different as day and night), as Lim was well established while Lee was primary-school educated and required a Mandarin interpreter.

Lim Lee Poh leaving a high court here after her appeal against the decision of a lower court who granted a single mother custody of the child was dismissed, George Town, Penang.George Cheah / The Star / 15 April 2016

“Lim cared for the child well but natural love from the mother cannot be replaced,” he added.

Present in court yesterday were Lee and her mother Sia Bee Bit, 51.

Lim had appealed against the decision of the Children’s Court last year, which had granted the biological mother custody of the girl after a three-year battle.

Lee was separated from her daughter in 2012 after she allowed her child to be taken care by Lim, as she was occupied with work.

She alleged that she was turned away every time she wanted to meet her daughter, with Lim later claiming to have documents to show that Lee had given her daughter up for adoption to her.

The case made news on Aug 31, 2014, after Lee sought the help of the Penang MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau.

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