GEORGE TOWN: Businessman SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin has urged detractors to see his side of the story in his bitter legal struggle with his wife over visiting rights to their children.
He said he had also been traumatised, in not being able to spend time with his three sons for the past six years – “not even on Hari Raya and on birthdays”.
He said he had been denied time with his children from the day he divorced his wife six years ago, despite a court order granting him visiting rights.
“Do you know how traumatising that is?” he told FMT, in response to claims by lawyer Siti Kasim that his ex-wife had been forced to go to jail over the issue and had suffered emotional fatigue and trauma.
“But what about me? I have not spent time with my sons for the past six years. Not even on Hari Raya, and on birthdays.”
His former wife, Emilia Hanafi, was sentenced to one week’s jail by the shariah high court for contempt of court after failing to produce their three children, aged 10 to 16, despite several interim court orders and a consent judgment allowing Faisal visiting rights.
Faisal also rejected Siti Kasim’s claim that he had failed to show up to meet his children on several occasions since 2018.
His lawyer, Akberdin Abdul Kader, said the couple had agreed that the children would be produced at their former home in Serene Kiara, Kuala Lumpur and not elsewhere as claimed by Siti Kasim.
Faisal had not insisted on it and had waited to meet his children at the home of Emilia’s father in Kajang, but Emilia had refused to let the children meet their father, the lawyer said.
He said Faisal had lodged police reports every time he failed to meet his sons as allowed by the court.
Akberdin said: “We urge critics, including Siti Kasim, to study the facts of the case, before making false and misleading claims to the public. It is also unfortunate that some media outlets have failed to report this issue fairly and objectively.”
Emilia’s lawyer, Nizam Bashir, said his client had made commitments in writing about ensuring that Faisal would have access to his children.
“It may be sensible for Faisal to go through the correspondence that his lawyer has from our client,” he told FMT.
Nizam said the children must be given equal access to their parents, and to do so at a comfortable place.
“The children’s maintenance and education are a priority, too, and everyone must ensure that none of the parents must be sent to jail,” he said.
He suggested that both parties agree on a common framework, and for Faisal to withdraw the committal proceedings against Emilia and for her to drop her application of a judicial review of her committal.