Friday, November 6, 2009

Lecturer ordered to pay upkeep of parents

By Patrick Sennyah

SEREMBAN: The Syariah High Court yesterday ordered a university lecturer with a doctorate and her husband, who were sued by her parents for not paying them nafkah (financial maintenance), to make the payments for the rest of the couples' lives.
Judge Mohd Nadzri Abdul Rahman Ibrahim also ordered Raja Suzana Kassim, 39, and husband Zulazli Hashim, 43, to fulfil five other requests sought by Kassim Othman, 74, and wife Fatimah Salleh, 66, including allowing them to live in a house in Kampung Jiboi Baru, Ampangan, here, for as long as the latter live.

The court also ruled that the elderly couple be allowed to move freely in the house and surrounding areas; be given freedom to visit any of their other children at any time; that the defendants respect them and look after their welfare as well as bear their expenses to perform the haj.

"I also order the first defendant to pay RM500 nafkah a month, which is RM250 to the first plaintiff (Kassim) for all household utilities and maintenance, and RM250 to the second plaintiff (Fatimah) for their daily expenses.

"The payment must be made at the end of each month for the rest of their lives," said Nadzri.

"I think the amount is sufficient for the elderly couple, since their other children must also take responsibility to care for them. This ruling takes effect immediately."
Only Zulazli was present in court when the judge read out his decision.

Raja Suzana, who is the fifth of eight children, was not present and the court was informed by her lawyer, Norzaini Nordin that her client had to conduct her students' final semester examinations.

In April 2007, Kassim and Fatimah, who were represented by Haniff Hassan, had filed six claims, including for lifetime nafkah payments from their daughter and son-in-law whom they claimed had gone back on their promise and chased them out of the house after it was transferred to the defendants.

In their statement of claim, Kassim said he was awarded a plot of land in Kampung Jiboi Baru, Ampangan, in August 1971 and had built a house, and raised eight children, including the first defendant.

In 1993, Raja Suzana and Zulazli were married and in 2002, Kassim transferred ownership of the land to the defendants after they promised to bear the plaintiff's nafkah for as long as they lived and also allow them to stay in the house, among others.

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