Loh Siew Hong â€• mother of the three children who were separated from her and unilaterally converted to Islam without her permission three years ago â€• has quit her job as an assistant chef job at a hotel in Genting Highlands to be closer to her children.
She pulled the brakes on her promising career at the hotel where she cooked Chinese and Indian cuisine, telling Free Malaysia Today (FMT) that the reason behind her resignation was that she was concerned about her childrenâ€™s future and safety.
â€œI will never be able to work in peace, knowing my kids are away from me.
â€œIâ€™ll try to open a food stall near where I live or, better yet, start a food truck business. It will be flexible and I can keep a closer watch on my kids,â€ she told FMT.
Loh said that a political party had approached her about an opportunity to own and operate a stall at a college canteen, but she feels a food truck would suit her needs better.
â€œI feel that a food truck would be better as I will get to sell meals in different areas. Some of the people who offered to help me said they would try to get me a food truck,â€ she said.
She said that she is eternally grateful for the kind offers and help she has been receiving to rebuild her family.
Hartini Zainuddin, founder of Yayasan Chow Kit, is one of those helping Loh get back on her feet, starting an online fundraiser which has racked up RM15,850 as of Sunday.
Hartini has also arranged for tutors to help Lohâ€™s children catch up with their studies.
â€œWe are moved by the torture that she had to endure for years and also her journey in reuniting with her children.
â€œWe are doing everything we can to help her and her children start a new life,â€ Hartini said.
Lohâ€™s children were taken away from her in 2019 while she was hospitalised with injuries she claimed were inflicted by her former husband, Nagashwaran Muniandy, who converted to Islam and subsequently converted the coupleâ€™s three children in secret. He has been reported to be currently in prison for drug offences.
In December 2019, Loh obtained interim custody of her children pending her divorce, but her court case was delayed when the country went into Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020; she finally obtained an order granting her full and sole custody in March 2021.
On February 21 this year, Loh was finally reunited with her children after the High Court granted her a writ of habeas corpus for an immediate release of her three children from alleged unlawful detention.
In delivering his decision and allowing Lohâ€™s application, Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah said a December 2019 High Court interim ex-parte order and a March 2021 High Court final order which granted sole custody and full care of her children were still valid and enforceable.