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Appeal to help 2 Malaysians banned from leaving China

August 13, 2017

A Malaysian woman seeks the help of Foreign Minister Anifah Aman to help bring back her sister and her son, who have been banned from leaving China.


Cheng @ Chuang Chau Yang, and her son.

By Myra Cheng

Dear YB Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman,

How are you? I had wished to seek help from you face to face, but understand that you are away for the whole of August. Hence this email.

The two victims above are my sister, Cheng @ Chuang Chau Yang, and her son.

Dato’ Sri, this letter is written with respect and hope, with the yearning to set my sister and nephew free, and with the wish that my parents – now in their 70s – would not have to fall sick and die without their daughter and grandson by their side.

Our ordeal originates from a Shanghai Changning Enforcement Court’s administrative oversight that is in violation of the Chinese law, multiple UN Conventions and the human rights of two innocent Malaysians.

Dato’ Sri, only you can help us

Dato’ Sri, you may well be the only one who can help us in concrete ways now. We have exhausted all other means in the past two years. All the legal experts in China and Malaysia we consulted have asked us to seek your help.

I understand and respect that Malaysia cannot intervene in another sovereign country’s legal proceeding. However, we are no longer in the territory of law, but the misuse of it.

If the Chinese central government is made aware of this, I am sure it would not allow this to continue. But our voices are too feeble to reach the Chinese central government.

Would you help include this in your bilateral discussions with the Chinese government, please? And use whatever means at your disposal to help my sister and my 8-year-old nephew, both Malaysians?

Please, Dato’ Sri, if you do not help us, there is no other way out for these 2 Malaysians who have broken no law and done no wrong.

About Chau Yang

Just like your family, Datuk Sri, our parents have three children, too. Except that ours are all girls. I am the eldest. Chau Yang is the middle child, the gentlest and most forgiving among us. In our sisterly disagreements, she is often the first to say sorry. She is the type who stops to help accident victims and is always congenial and trusting.

But Dato’ Sri, it is also her kind and trusting nature that has got her into this current ordeal.

Failed attempts at a peaceful divorce and trust betrayed

In 2012, her then husband (“X”) abducted the child for the first time. Unable to care for the child, X returned him after one week. My sister forgave him. Believing that X still had the best interest of the son at heart, she tried to negotiate to have the child spend alternate weeks with each parent.

X betrayed this trust and abducted the boy again in 2013, this time for 820 days. She subsequently won a divorce and full custody of the boy in Dec 2014.

An unenforceable custodial right

However, X blatantly ignored the court order to hand over the child. The Shanghai Changning Enforcement Court told Chau Yang that it could not enforce her custodial right, and asked her to “put in her own efforts”.

The condition in which the boy was found

Eight months after the custody was granted, against all odds and expectations, my sister located her son in North-eastern China.

The child was neither with X nor his grandparents. X was living 2,000km away in Shanghai. The boy had been given a fake identity and suffered severe eczema due to insufficient care.

In reality, the boy had lost both his mother and his father. He was the biggest victim of X’s vengeful act.

The mysterious and unjustifiable exit (travel) bans

Just two days after their reunion, they were banned from leaving China. According to the Shanghai Court website, the bans were issued by the Changning Enforcement Court, the same court that told my sister her custodial rights could not be enforced.

There was a total lack of transparency in these bans. No written grounds of judgement, no prior warning and no notification was ever given to Chau Yang or our Malaysian embassy. Chau Yang and son have neither breached any law nor committed any offence under Chinese laws.

All of Chau Yang’s written appeals were also been rejected verbally.

The verbal reasoning given by the judge was that it wanted to protect X’s visitation rights. However, the facts were:

  • X has rejected every single visitation arrangement (but one) that Chau Yang proposed to him, simply because Chau Yang, due to X’s past conduct, has required the visits to be supervised. He has chosen to not see the son for 1.5 years instead.
  • The judge verbally told Chau Yang, so long as X so wishes, he could renew the bans until the child turns 18, even if visitation has taken place, as there is always the next visit.
  • In the one and only visitation (court-supervised) that X agreed to attend, his family attempted to snatch the child by force at the courthouse gate, resulting in injuries to Chau Yang’s party, and deeply traumatising the child.

The judge and her colleagues witnessed the violent abduction attempt, but instead of lifting the bans as she promised, she further renewed the bans and demanded that Chau Yang should now allow unsupervised overnight visitation by X going forward.

Your help will mean a lot to other parents too

Dato’ Sri, with the increasing interaction between Malaysia and China, cross-border marriages will only increase. Will other Malaysian parents and children be protected when a divorce takes place? By helping us, you are helping to prevent similar administrative oversight against future victims as well.

Thank you for reading, Dato’ Sri.

Please help lift the travel bans on Chau Yang and her son.

Myra Cheng is Chau Yang’s elder sister.

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