- the Family Court
- the Ministry Of Law and all its ministers
- the Ministry Of Education and all its ministers
- and also cc to MCYS and all its ministers.
A plea from a parent to be there for his child
Lately MCYS has been promoting the nationwide “Dads For Life” movement, emphasizing the importance of fathers in children's life. I am a divorced parent with joint custody of my son. However, due to changes in rulings of the Family Court and blockages from his school, I have been excluded from his life in every way. I doubt these actions of the school and the Family Court are in any way close to even supporting this movement.
Since the divorce, my son has been brainwashed by his care-takers to build hostility against me. A letter was then sent to his principal, claiming he was “traumatized” by me communicating with his teachers. Consequently, the principal demanded me to stay away “in the best interest of my son”. They also evaded all information pertaining to him from me. In November 2009 at their school carnival, his class teacher even warned me to stay away or they will engage security force against me. Though I have a right to see my son, I complied with their demands to avoid an unpleasant scene.
I used to have 8-hour weekly access to my son, but it was reduced, and recently even suspended for 6-months by the Family Court claiming it was “in his higher interest”. Without his father’s presence, it affected my son who used to be a top achiever. His recent grades have deteriorated tremendously, and needs to attend extra lessons specially catered for him. Much as I want to help my son with his PSLE examinations, I cannot even do so as a father.
I hope the Family Court and MOE can enlighten me on the following -
1. How is the 6-months suspension of my presence in my son’s life in his “higher interest”? Now that he has suffered severely in academic performance, may I ask how has that decision made by the Family Court benefited him or his examinations?
2. The school and the Family Court are constantly barring me from my son. May I ask what are they protecting him from? Is his father a convicted criminal?
3. I have been very obliging whenever asked by the school to stay away. But why wasn’t I even informed when my son’s grades are deteriorating?
It pains me as a parent to see my child struggling and I am not even allowed to be there for him. All I ask is access time with him to help in his examinations, and to offer him love and support during this crucial time of his life.
Is a father’s involvement in his child’s life too much to ask? Isn’t this exactly what the nationwide “Dads For Life” movement has been calling out all fathers to do for their children?
Mr Cheng Wee
(first posted on Facebook, 10 September 2010)