“Whether father is entitled to custody of a child despite allegations of immoral and unethical behaviour against the father”
BSO V JEH  7 AMR 446
- This is a matter before the High Court on the application by the Applicant (“Mother”) for sole guardianship and custody, as well as care and control of the child of the Mother and the Respondent (“Father”).
- After their marriage in the United Kingdom in 2016, the Father, a United Kingdom citizen and the Mother returned to Malaysia and were blessed with a son (“the child”) in 2017.
- The Mother alleged in her application that the Father led an immoral lifestyle, was addicted to online sexual activities and online gambling, that his lifestyle led to him contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
- The Father was also alleged and had admitted to several attempts of drinking and driving.
- The child had been continuously living with the Mother since the Mother left the matrimonial home in January 2020.
HIGH COURT HELD AS FOLLOWS:-
- Given that the child had continuously been with the Mother, it was undeniable that the child continues to be dependent on her for his physical, emotional and mental development.
- It would not be in the interest of the welfare of the child to remove him from his current environment.
- The application for sole guardianship and custody is granted to the Mother.
- However, the court would not deny the Father any form of contact or relationship with the child, provided that such access is limited to day access only and at the same time is supervised in a public place.
- The Court held there was lack of evidence pointing to any sexually transmitted disease and even if there was, there was no evidence how the father contracted it and more importantly how it would have a bearing on the Child.
- Although the welfare of the child encompasses his oral upbringing, the Court should not impose its own moral values on the child and the parties.
- A distinction has to be drawn between public and private morality. The court should not assume the role of moral police and judge a litigant for moral transgressions committed in private save except where such transgressions by a custodian parent descend into the arena of the child’s life and result in the welfare of the child being compromised.
- The allegations of the Father’s alcohol and substance abuse could not be ignored.