KUALA LUMPUR,. M. Indira Gandhi’s hopes at reuniting with her youngest daughter Prasana Diksa rekindled when Pakatan Harapan (PH) took power and gave an assurance that the rule of law is the cornerstone of its government.
The Hindu mother from Ipoh, Perak who challenged the unilateral conversion to Islam of her three children by their converted father all the way to the Federal Court in Putrajaya and won, was frustrated by the apathy displayed by the authorities in bringing back her youngest child as ordered nearly 10 years ago.
“Where are they? Is Prasana alive? Is she well? As her mother, I do not know these things which I rightfully should. Why? Because the authorities are yet to tell me anything about her,” she said in an emotive open letter addressed to the new government and to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun, that was also sent to Malay Mail.
Indira noted Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s widely reported remarks that his new administration is fully committed to upholding the rule of law, which he recently reiterated will be applied to his predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Razak and all others charged in court for alleged fraud in the multibillion dollar theft from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
“What happened to the Federal Court’s order? Is it not sacred anymore? No one needs to heed it? Isn’t rule of law observed today? When will it apply to my case? Will I see justice?” she asked.
Indira’s former husband who now goes by the name Muhammad Riduan converted all three of their children on April 2, 2009 without her consent, and applied to the Shariah Court for their custody.
He ran away with Prasana when she was only 11 months old, after the High Court granted Indira full custody of all three children nine years ago.
In January, the country’s highest court ruled that unilateral conversions are unlawful and that a matter that is under consideration in the Islamic courts does not exclude the jurisdiction of civil courts on the same issue.
Indira was represented by M. Kulasegaran in her lengthy legal battles then, including the high-profile interfaith custody tussle that she ultimately won.
The DAP lawmaker has since been appointed as human resources minister after PH won the May general election.
In her letter, Indira sought the aid of the country’s religious groups, all which had paid close attention to her court fights, and some which had even sent legal representatives to hold a watching brief.
“I would also like to plead and beg to the religious groups to help me in this matter. Especially the right wing ones. What would you do if Prasana was your child?” she asked.
“What would you do if you were in my shoes?”
Indira reminded them that she had not seen her younger daughter since she was baby and could not rest until they are reunited.
‘My New Malaysia is the day my daughter is returned back to me.
“So to the IGP and the Pakatan Harapan government. How long more?” she asked.