New Straits Times
by Kristina George
PUTRAJAYA: "My husband tried to strangle me on countless occasions in front of our 5-year-old son, Ferris Mokthar. He also threatened my life and that of my family members."
This was Elis Syuhaila Mokthar's startling revelation yesterday after being told about Frank Theodorus Van de Ven @ Firdaus' statement yesterday defending his decision to take their son to Belgium.
She said she had lived in constant fear during her marriage to van de Van "and so I had no choice but to get my son and myself away from him".
The 34-year-old said she was still terrified of her former husband.
"I kept telling him that we should stay together for our son's sake but he would only get angry with me and threaten to kill me and my family.
"This happened even before we filed for divorce last year and Ferris would cry hysterically whenever he saw his father being violent towards me."
She said she finally decided to speak of her husband's cruelty towards her and her family on discovering his "revelations" to the press yesterday.
"I never reported his abuse before this as I was afraid he would do something worse to me or my son on finding out."
Elis claimed that her husband would constantly send hired thugs to monitor her whereabouts and even brought two "bodyguards" to tear down the gates of her father's home in Batu Caves in February last year.
"He said he had come to hand over the ex-parte documents but got violent and started cursing me in front of the entire neighbourhood when I refused to let him in."
She claimed he had married a Filipino in Thailand last year, saying that the woman had been with him during an incident involving them at the Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel last December.
"In his police report, he said he was attacked by 10 people but failed to mention that he had lunged towards me and attempted to strangle me first.
"That was when my family members and passers-by stepped in to break up the tussle before the police arrived."
Elis also lodged a report that night, which was confirmed by police.
"To me, these things are small in comparison with my need to see Ferris," she said.
"He can say whatever he wants but I have every right to see Ferris as I am his mother.
"I have been through hell these past nine months without my son. I can barely sleep or eat thinking about him."