BUKIT MERTAJAM: A commotion broke out outside a magistrate’s court here where the uncle of M. Vaitheswaran - who is charged with causing the death of a college student at the Penang Bridge - accused his parents of taking custody of his daughter without consent.
The 32-year-old businessman who refused to be named said he now wants his six-year-old daughter back and demanded that the couple return the girl to him.
"'Mana? Mana saya punya anak? Mana? Mana?' (Where? Where is my daughter? Where? Where?)" the man asked Vaitheswaran's father repeatedly and loudly after walking out of the court.
The man was also seen pushing Vaitheswaran's father with both hands.
Vaitheswaran's father then continued to walk away and dismissed the man with one hand.
He was also heard muttering to the man, "pi cari pasar malam (find at a night market)."
To this, the man said, "'You angkat saya punya anak. Lu sendiri punya anak tak boleh jaga, you angkat orang punya anak" (You can't take care of your own child and you want to take my child?)."
The man later told reporters that he was the younger brother of Vaitheswaran's mother and had handed his daughter over to the couple in 2016 to be looked after.
"My mother was struck by a stroke and the family offered to look after my daughter. I agreed and paid them RM1,000 every month for their help, which included sending my daughter for piano classes.
"But when the teacher informed me that my daughter has stopped attending classes for a long time, I tried to bring her back since last year.
"However, the couple would always shut their door and come up with many excuses to avoid me, and I have lodged several police reports since then," he claimed.
He also showed a letter from the Welfare Department, which stated that he had given consent to the couple to have custody of the girl.
"I never gave my consent and neither did I sign this letter, so I do not know how this letter came about.
"It was the last straw for me when my car was hit by Vaitheswaran's mother's vehicle on Jan 29.
"I saw my daughter in her car so I gave chase, but she knocked into my car instead. To prevent my daughter from being in danger, I did not pursue further," he said.
Meanwhile, the court has postponed Vaitheswaran's case pending the completion of the post-mortem report.
Magistrate Jamaliah Abd Manap fixed April 4 for mention after DPP M. Kalaivaanan told the court that the post-mortem report was still pending.
Vaitheswaran, 21, was charged with driving recklessly and causing the death of Moey Yun Peng, 20, at the fourth kilometre of the mainland-bound side of the bridge at about 3am on Jan 20.
His case was brought up for mention on Monday (March 18).
The SUV driven by Moey plunged into the sea following the collision with another vehicle.
Moey’s body was found strapped to the driver’s seat after the vehicle was retrieved from the sea three days later.
If convicted, Vaitheswaran, who was represented by lawyer S. Parameswaran, faces a maximum of 10 years’ jail or a RM20,000 fine, or both.
His driving licence has been suspended until the case is over.