KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Hindu mother Loh Siew Hong has rejected assertions that her three children, who are under the care of the Perlis Welfare Department after being unilaterally converted to Islam, did not want to see her.

The single mother told Malaysiakini that instead, her children were delighted to see her during their brief reunion in Perlis two days ago, after having been separated since 2019 when she was hospitalised.

Loh added that “certain quarters”, which included her ex-husband’s family, told her children negative stories about her and refused to let them meet even though she was awarded sole custody by the court last year.

“They told my children that their father would commit suicide if they followed me. I was also blamed for sending their father to the prison in Machang, Kelantan, for a drug-related offence.


“My children do not know that I was not responsible for their father being in prison,” she told Malaysiakini in an interview published today.

Loh’s 14-year-old twin daughters and 10-year-old son are currently under the care of the Perlis Welfare Department pending the outcome of her habeas corpus application set to be heard next Monday at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Loh’s children were taken away from her in 2019 while she was hospitalised with injuries she claimed were inflicted by her former husband.


She obtained interim custody of her children in July 2019 pending her divorce, but her court case was delayed when the country went into Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Loh finally obtained full custody of her children in March 2021. She continued searching for them so she could finally take them home.

It was a long search, she told the news portal. On January 10 this year, Loh said she received information that her daughters were at a shelter in Penang while her son contacted her through a friend on Facebook, saying he was attending a tahfiz school in the same state and asking when she could visit.

“By then, I have lodged nine police reports to locate my children, but I am still unable to take my children with me,” she was quoted saying.

Loh said she was told to go to a madrasah in Perlis to see her children. She suspected her children were being held by the religious authorities in the northernmost peninsular state and so filed another police report in Kepala Batas, Penang.

Loh said she received help from Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy and David Marshel who heads an NGO called Malaysian Tamilar Kural.

The saga involving Loh and her three children are still continuing.

On February 16, Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul admitted in a video posted on his Facebook account that the three children were unilaterally converted to Islam in July 2020 by their father before he was imprisoned on drug charges.

He added that the Perlis Islamic Religious Department had not enquired about the mother's whereabouts and that the children's conversion were not registered with the National Registration Department.

Asri also claimed the children did not want to return to Loh and has maintained that the minors' coversion to Islam is legal despite the landmark court judgment outlawing unilateral conversions.