Meeriam Rosaline Edward Paul, who claims to be S Samy Vellu’s common-law wife, said the former MIC president’s family have prevented her from seeing him since last June.
She told reporters after a hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court that she last saw Samy Vellu at a Secret Recipe outlet in the capital on June 13.
“I was hoping to see my husband here, and I’m not sure who he is afraid of that he did not come (today),” said Meeriam, who previously said she married Samy Vellu in 1981.
“Until today, I’ve not been able to see him nor speak to him.”
Meeriam had filed a lawsuit in August last year against the father and son, seeking a declaration that she be given due recognition and accepted as part of the family.
She also sought access to Samy Vellu with no restrictions imposed by any other family member, including Vell Paari.
She said Vell Paari had financially disempowered Samy Vellu and taken control of his finances since 2017.
Meeriam, 59, said she had been in a quasi-spousal union with the former works minister and had been engaged in an “ala-matrimonial” relationship since 1981 and had documentary evidence to support her claim.
In addition, Meeriam is seeking for the duo to pay living costs to her amounting to RM191,107.35, which she claimed was owed to her when it was cut off since July last year.
She is also seeking a one-off payment of RM20 million as lifetime living costs, besides a monthly stipend of RM25,000.
The court today heard her application seeking to intervene in a suit filed by Samy Vellu’s son, S Vell Paari, to determine his father’s mental health.
Vell Paari, in his suit, said his father has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for the past two years, and cannot defend himself in the two suits filed against him.
After a two-hour meeting in chambers with justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak, Meeriam told reporters that Vell Paari is restricting her access to Samy Vellu.
“My husband is a loving man. He’s very loving with me. The last time we spoke was on June 14 (last year).
“Then, Vell Paari blocked the number, and he changed his phone number. Even after that, I tried numerous times to go to his office or the house, or even the place where he goes to drink.
“I’m not able to see him. He’s just blocked (from me). I don’t know any other way to see (him). Actually, I’m very mentally upset. But there’s God, and the truth will prevail.”
The judge adjourned the case to March 20 for Vell Paari’s lawyers to complete their submission to oppose Meeriam’s application. Counsel David Matthews did not speak to the press.
Meeriam’s lawyer, RSN Rayer, said his client believes that Samy Vellu is not mentally compromised.
“We exhibited in our affidavit that as recently as last week, during a Thaipusam function, he was at Batu Caves.
“He is mentally capable of managing his own affairs.”
Co-counsel Ramesh Sivakumar said the medical reports that Vell Paari provided to the court, stating that his father suffers from dementia, failed to meet requirements under Section 52 of the Mental Health Act 2001.
“You need somebody who is impartial, or rather, has no interest in this matter, to bring the relevant evidence.”
Vell Paari filed the suit against Samy Vellu on December 2 last year, seeking a court order that an investigation be conducted to ascertain the latter’s mental fitness, and whether the former works minister has the capacity to manage himself and his affairs.
The former MIC secretary-general is seeking a court order for a probe into his father under Section 52 of the Mental Health Act.
He also requested that consultant neuropsychiatrist and Penang Adventist Hospital neurobehavioural medicine head Dr Prem Kumar Chandrasekaran, 52, or other mental health experts be given access to examine his father personally and prepare a report on the defendant’s mental capacity.
In the event that the defendant is found to be suffering from a mental disorder and incapable of managing himself and his affairs, Vell Paari will seek that several individuals, including himself, be appointed by the court as committee members to manage the defendant’s estate.
In a supporting affidavit, Vell Paari said Professor David Ames, a consultant psychiatrist from Victoria, Australia, diagnosed his father with dementia in 2017 and prescribed medicines for the condition.
He said Dr Bharathi Vengadasalam, a consultant psychiatrist at Pantai Hospital, also provided reports that Samy Vellu is suffering from a major neurocognitive disorder, and is incapable of managing his finances and estate, administering medicines or making decisions.
Vell Paari said that his mother, R Indrani, 79, and his younger sister, Mangayerkarasi, 56, will support the suit through their respective affidavits.
Vell Paari said since 2017, he has been helping manage his father’s affairs and estate, and used his own funds for the purpose, as Samy Vellu is unable to access money in his bank accounts due to health reasons.