A Malaysian woman named Cheng Chau Yong has a long ordeal which begun inSeptember 2012 with her Chinese national husband of eight years who took their Malaysian born child who was then 3 years old for a week. Soon after he took the child back home to his wife after the child had a serious eczema flareup due to food poisoning. in December
Then on 30th July 2013, barely a year after her husband took the child away, he again abducted the then 4 years old child. Cheng was unable to reach any of the husband’s family through phone calls and the child was kept hidden away from her.
Cheng’s request for help to the Shanghai police as well as the Malaysian Consulate in Shanghai, but they were unable to help her unless she has won custody of the child in court.
Sometime in December, Cheng was able to locate her son and the new school he was unwilling to attend. She then repeatedly negotiated with her husband for the return of her child but were unsuccessful.
She then filed for divorce in February 2014 in the Shanghai Changning court and won custody of her son. But then her ex-husband despite multiple applications to the court to seek for a change in custody rights and for rehearing of the custody case, he lost. Even when the Changning Enforcement Court imposed a travel ban on her ex-husband, it has no effect on him as he works in China.
At last Cheng was able to locate her son on October 2015 in Changchun which is 2000 km away from Shanghai. Her son was staying with his father’s sister in a rented apartment and was not living with the father.
Her son attended a local school with a fake identity and he hated schooling and could not understand English any more. His eczema had flared-up again with broken skin and dark patches on his forehead and was weak from lack of exercise and has very low self-esteem. He was 6 years old then.
Cheng was reunited with her son. However, 2 days later she discovered there was a travel ban imposed on her and her son without any reason against the ban. She then appealed against the travel ban in December 2015 and to the Enforcement Court and had her latest custody win in January 2016.
On 15th January 2016, the Enforcement Court had arranged for a court-supervised visit by the ex-husband of the child, promising to lift the travel ban aftwr the visit and asking Cheng to withdraw her appeal against the travel ban.
But it turned out horribly wrong as it almost became the third abduction, leaving the then 7 years old son “traumatised”. “The result was my son was nearly snatched away once again outside the court after the visitation, my parents were beaten, and the court did not lift the travel ban. My son was totally frightened and devastated, wet the bed and had nightmares for a long time,” Cheng said.
Cheng tried to arrange for another court-supervised visit, but the ex-husband insisted on only visiting the sonif he could take the child home unsupervised.
She was also to told that both she and the child could only leave China to travel if the ex-husband agrees, and that the travel ban could continue to be extended for up to another 10 years.
Cheng was informed by the Enforcement Court that as long as the ex-husband refused to lift the ban, the Court cannot lift it until the son reaches 18 years old. She appealed another time in June 2016 for the travel ban to be lifted. Thin September 2017 and March 2017, she appealed to the Enforcement Court to lift the travel ban as her grandmother was very ill and also provided medical reports of the critical health conditions to the Court. However it was refused even though she is prepared to pay a deposit.
The 94 years old grandmother has now recovered but frail.Cheng has written about 350 letter to a few government departments requesting them to look into the peculiar handling of this case, but nothing was done.
Now Cheng and her son who are both Malaysiansare now in China reunted and togetherbut restricted from moving freely in and out of the country even after long court battles.
(Adapted from the Malay Mail.)
A solicitors firm will be writing to the President of the People’s Republic of China to intervene on the travel ban which is in contravention of the UN International Conventions, International Bill of Human Rights, the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
One of the mitigating factor is that Cheng is gainfully employed in a multi-national company in Shanghai and is required frequently to travel to the Asia-Pacific Region and America for work engagements. She and her son has not breached any laws nor committed any offences under the Chinese laws. Further no written ground of judgement was furnished by the Court and no warning of a travel ban was given.
Cheng and her son has been unjustly deprived of their rights to travel more so the freedom of movement is indispensable to one’s personal development and livelihood and for the child, the untangible benefits, the right to participate in family events, the right to travel for the development of his mind, his intellect and soul.
It is hoped that the President will give due consideration to lift the travel and take the necessary actions on the mother and child.