Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mansor Adabi and Maria Hertogh (Nadrah)..part 2

For those who are keen on the nitty-gritty details of the Maria Hertogh saga and all the relevant reports, just check them out on the internet. There are countless websites and other links to occupy one for a very long time.
However what I am doing in these posts is providing a recapitulation of the main threads of this enduring story about Mansor Adabi and Maria ( Nadrah) and Che Aminah. Much later, what happened in the aftermath of the wedding, the hearings in November and December 1950, the riots and the ensuing years.

Dramatic turn of events
Mansor and Maria (Nadrah) were married on August 1 1950 as seen in this photo which included Aminah.

After the wedding, Maria returned to stay with Aminah and slightly later, was under the guardianship of the President of Muslim Association ...M.A. Majeed. The marriage was never consummated.

There were some perceptions that the wedding was a manoevre by Che Aminah to prevent the return of Maria to her natural parents...who had served legal notice to return their daughter by August 10.

When the deadline passed with no sign of Aminah or Mansor yielding an inch, the Hertoghs went to court again on 26 August and took out an original summons under the
"Guardianship of Infants Ordinance".
You will recall that Maria was then only 13 years of age...when she married Mansor Adabi. Under European laws this was not legally acceptable. But they were not married under European or even British laws ( Singapore was a British crown colony then)...but under Muslim customs which permitted marriage if the muslim girl had reached puberty by then( as was the case with Maria).

Meanwhile the Hertoghs argued that they were the legal and biological parents of Maria, their daughter, and they would never have given their permission either for her to be converted to the Muslim religion or to be married off at 13.

The first challenge to the 'appropriateness' of the marriage actually came from within the Muslim community itself. On August 10, a Muslim leader wrote to the Straits Times voicing some concerns about the marrying age of such a young girl.

However, he concluded that Muslims would have no objections to such a marriage per se.

The photos showed the scene on May 17 1950 after the High Court ruled that Maria must be returned to her natural parents pending an appeal and a stay of execution for 2 months.

Before the High Court ruling, Maria had made it very clear that she wanted to stay with Aminah and did not wish to be returned to her natural parents.

As Maria and Aminah exited the courthouse via the backdoor, a car from the consulate was waiting to take Maria away. Maria refused to enter the car and clung to Aminah...both shouting in Malay that they would rather kill themselves than be separated. A large crowd had formed outside the court.
It was only after much persuasion that the duo parted in tears and Maria was transported to the Girls Homecraft Centre at York Hill.

Next,the court hearing of 20 November 1950 to deliver its verdict about Maria's custody.
So from August, for nearly 4 months, the whole saga hung in deep suspense.

Tensions were starting to boil and they would explode and culminate in one of the darkest chapters of our history.

5 comments:

Icemoon said...

Uncle Dicko, I'm waiting for part 3.

unk Dicko said...

Hi Icemoon....me too! Haha!

unk Dicko said...

Seriously, part 3 should be out after the Manchester United vs Liverpool game on EPL tonight. Both have promised to "slay" the other which often happens and the only thing standing in the way is a "kelong"(not proven yet) referee.

Icemoon said...

Uncle Dicko Liverpool supporter izzit? Too demoralized to put up part 3 :P

unk Dicko said...

No lah, not a supporter of Merseyside.
I had saved the rough draft which needed to be edited.
It's up now.
Happy reading!
Part 4 later today.