BEIJING: A Malaysian woman, who is fighting a China court's travel ban preventing her from leaving the country with her son, says she is trying to fulfil the boy's wish to visit his homeland.
Cheng Chau Yang, 42, said her eight-year-old son was embarrassed whenever his classmates asked him about Malaysia because he was unable to tell them more.
"He feels sad because he told them he is a Malaysian but knew nothing about the country except from what he read from books and Internet.
"I promised that I would take him home," she revealed.
Cheng, who works in a multi-national corporation in Shanghai, and her son are unable to leave China due to a travel ban imposed on them to secure her Chinese ex-husband's visitation rights to the child.
For the past 21 months, both have been "trapped" in the foreign land.
No words can adequately describe the life of a single working mother who has to strike a balance between work and spending time with her son while living in fear that her ex-husband may try to abduct the boy like he did before.
"I send him to school and then pick him up after that. I dare not leave him alone on the streets and will always hold his hand, I can't lose him again," Cheng said in a telephone interview, adding that she was also hoping to see her ailing 94-year-old grandmother.
Cheng's plight was highlighted by Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie at a press conference at Wisma MCA last Friday.
It was reported that the 45-year-old ex-husband, who heads a US-based marketing research and consulting firm, had snatched the child twice.
Cheng was in the dark about her son's whereabouts and his condition for more than two years after the second abduction.
To ensure that the son was not affected by the divorce, she spends more time with him to make him feel loved and cared for.
She is glad her son is making progress after some counselling sessions, growing up to become a cheerful and active boy, enjoying swimming, cycling, reading and drawing.
Cheng was granted sole custody of the child after divorcing her ex-husband in 2014.
The ex-husband is allowed to visit the child weekly but Cheng claimed that he had only utilised the rights once at the courthouse in January last year.
Cheng's ordeal came to light on Saturday when her family in Malaysia begged for help after several appeals to the Chinese court failed to "free" the mother and son.
"It is tough to fight alone but I get more strength after many strangers showed their support and encouragement.
"I hope the voices of Malaysians will be heard by the Chinese government," she said.
Will Fung, a Malaysian lawyer based in China, said a foreigner cannot leave the country under several circumstances according to its Exit and Entry Administration Law.