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Penang mum seeks Malaysian authorities’ help to locate missing daughter

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — A Malaysian mother is imploring Malaysian authorities to find her three-year-old daughter who went missing months ago after being allegedly taken away by her biological father in violation of an existing court order.

V. Thevitthra claimed her daughter was “taken” by the child’s father, R. Kannan, last September amid an ongoing application for custody of the child that was still being heard at the High Court at that time.

Based on court documents sighted by Malay Mail, Thevitthra eventually succeeded in obtaining a mandatory injunction compelling the father to return the child to her from the High Court in Shah Alam on November 21, 2023.

In the mandatory injunction, High Court judge Datuk Julie Lack had ordered Kannan to immediately return the child to Thevitthra while also prohibiting any persons related to Kannan interacting with the child without prior permission from Thevitthra.

A mandatory injunction is court order compelling the recipient to perform a specific action.

Among others, the court also ordered the authorities, namely the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to seek out Kannan for the injunction to be executed; and for the Immigration Department to bar Kannan from bringing the child out of Malaysia.

As of today, Thevitthra said she has neither seen nor spoken to her daughter since September 2023.

“On November 28 (after the mandatory injunction order), my lawyer sent letter copies and the full court order to both offices of the Selangor police chief and inspector-general of police that were both acknowledged a day later.

“However, (as of today) there is no update on the whereabouts of my child,” she told Malay Mail recently.

She also said a further check by the Immigration Department on her daughter’s passport entry and exit record revealed the child had exited Malaysia towards Singapore on November 5 — before the court order was granted.

After this, Thevitthra lodged police reports in Malaysia and Singapore on her missing daughter.

“This situation is deeply troubling, and I am gravely concerned for my daughter’s safety and well-being,” she said.

The Selangor police have not responded to Malay Mail’s requests for comment.

When contacted, Thevitthra’s then counsel Datuk Seri James Chow Kok Leong affirmed the latest development from the authorities’ effort to track down Kannan.

“No update. The police are still in the process of tracing the location of the husband and the child,” he said in a brief response to Malay Mail’s queries.

When asked if there were any further correspondences between Kannan’s counsel on the latter’s whereabouts since the November 21 court order, Chow said the husband’s previous counsel had discharged himself and a new solicitor was appointed in December.

Thevitthra has since discharged her previous counsel and appointed a new one.

A further check on the court e-Filing system showed that a date — March 19 — has been fixed for online case management over the filing of appeal against the mandatory injunction order before the deputy court registrar at the Court of Appeal.

Kannan is listed as the appellant with Thevitthra as the respondent.