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Monday, December 9, 2019

Vell Paari: I’m worried about my dad

Concerned son: Vell Paari says he’s hoping the court will name him his father’s litigant in any proceedings involving his father.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former works minister Tun S. Samy Vellu’s health condition is believed to have been deteriorating and his son Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari wants the court to make a declaration on that.

Vell Paari has filed an originating summons against his 82-year-old father to determine the latter’s mental state through an inquiry under the Mental Health Act 2001.

The former MIC secretary-general named his father as the sole defendant in the suit, which was filed through the law firm Messrs Mathews Hun Lachimanan recently.

In the originating summons, Vell Paari sought for an inquiry under Section 52 of the Mental Health Act 2001 to determine whether the former longest-serving MIC president had a mental disorder that would cause him to be unable to manage himself and his affairs.

He said the inquiry was to determine the time frame of which the defendant could be of mental disorder, whether he was able to give orders to his solicitors to act on his behalf as well as the types of properties owned by the defendant.

Vell Paari sought for consultant neuropsychiatrist Dr Prem Kumar Chandrasekaran who is the chief of neurobehavioural medicine services from the Penang Adventist Hospital, or other mental health experts to be given full access to the defendant in order to prepare a report on the defendant’s mental health state in accordance with Section 54 of the same Act.

In the event that the defendant is found to be of mental disorder and unable to manage himself, Vell Paari sought for himself and a lawyer, Datuk C. Vijaya Kumar, and other individuals deemed fit by the court, to be appointed to a committee for the defendant’s estate.

He sought for the court to determine the powers of the said committee, make provisions for its costs and expenses, and remunerations to be paid to the members.

Vell Paari also sought to be named as his father’s litigant in any proceedings involving the defendant.

In his supporting affidavit, Vell Paari said his mother, Toh Puan R. Indrani and younger sister S. Mangayerkarasi, were aware of his application and would affirm separate affidavits in support of the originating summons.

“My mother, sister and I have observed the progressive deterioration of my father’s cognitive ability since 2017,” he said, adding that in the same year, a consultant psychiatrist from Victoria, Australia, had attended to the defendant and diagnosed him as having dementia.

He said as of late 2017, he had been assisting in the management of his father’s estate and had used his own funds in the process.

“My father was unable to access his funds in his banking accounts as the banks were aware of his condition and unwilling to act on his orders,” he said.

Vell Paari also revealed in the affidavit that Samy Vellu’s former mistress, whom he identified as only “Meeriam”, had initiated legal proceedings against him and his father at the Ipoh High Court.

“Without referring to the merits of the originating summons, I would like to state that Meeriam’s claims are being disputed. Due to my father’s condition, he is unable to give proper instructions to his lawyers and unable to affirm affidavits in his own name.

“Meeriam is taking advantage of my father’s condition and seeking to cross-examine him although he did not affirm any affidavit.”

Vell Paari added that his father was unable to defend himself and in that premise, it was important for him to be given the power to speak on his behalf.

A source close to the family said it was timely for Vell Paari to file the application to protect Samy Vellu’s interests, claiming that there were incidences where outsiders had taken advantage of him.

“There have been instances where people have come to see him and ask him for money. They recorded the conversation and use it to claim that Samy Vellu had promised or committed to give them money,” said the source.

Meanwhile, former Tamil Nesan photographer S.M Sundar said he met Samy Vellu last Wednesday when he had gone over to shoot a video as well as take pictures when famed South Indian lyricist and poet Vairamuthu had called on the octogenarian.

“He did not recognise any of us and it was truly heartbreaking for me as I had seen the best of Tun Samy Vellu throughout the 35 years I was a press photographer.’’ - Star

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