Monday, January 24

Adultery: Reporter’s suit against ex-wife, private secretary to assistant minister to resume tomorrow

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SIBU: The second part of a civil suit by a reporter of Utusan Sarawak against a private secretary to a state assistant cabinet minister for alleged adultery with his wife will resume tomorrow (Jan 13).In his petition for divorce filed at the High Court here on April 21, 2008, Duwin Udih named his former wife, Aretha Niki Mang, 43, as the first respondent, and Huong Haw Ching, the second respondent.

Huong from Jalan Muhibah here is married and is a private secretary to Assistant Minsiter of Housing and Urban Development Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck.

Aretha Niki is from Bawang Assan and works as a public relations clerk for Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Sibu Branch.

Duwin told reporters yesterday that in answer to the petition for divorce, Huong among others, did not admit that Duwin had been lawfully married with the first respondent on Dec, 2, 1989.

He said the second respondent’s written answer to the petition for divorce was filed at the High Court on June 25, 2008.

According to Duwin, hearing for the first part of the petition on Sept 9 and 11 last year was conducted in chamber before Judicial Commisioner P Ravinthran from Kuching.

Offer for out-of court settlement by the two respondents was rejected during the hearing on Sept 9 last year, he said, and added that the hearing on Sept 11 ended up in the successful dissolution of the marriage between him and the first respondent who was present for the first time since the case was mentioned on Mar 24 last year.

The second respondent has failed to turn up since the case was brought to court, he said.

In his petition, Duwin claimed RM1.5 million in damages from the second respondent for alleged adultery with his wife which resulted in the irretrievable breakdown of his marriage.

He also claimed damages from the first and second respondents as assessed by the court for mental pain and suffering, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, emotional stress and trauma caused by their adultery and illicit relationship.

Duwin was represented by counsel Augustine Liom from Tang & Company Advocates, Sibu, while Lily Wong (Tiong, Lim, Wong & Co Advocates, Sibu) acted for both respondents.

According to notice of hearing dated Nov 18, 2008 which was signed by Deputy Registrar, High Court, Sibu, M Rajalingam, the first date for mention was 9am on Dec 2, 2008, but was postponed to 9am on March 23, 2009, and then postponed again to 2pm on March 24, 2009; 9am on May 26, 2009; 9am on July 20, 2009; and 9am on Sept 7, 2009.