KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — The owner of the Rumah Bonda welfare home will reportedly take legal action against those who accused her of child abuse to describe her involvement with a 13-year-old child with Down syndrome.
Lawyer Nur Aminahtul Mardiah Md Nor was quoted by local daily Sinar Harian saying her client, 29-year-old Siti Bainun Ahd Razali, had only been charged with child neglect, under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 200.
“It should be emphasised that the charges imposed have nothing at all to do with abuse, which is what was widely said before, and instead is only related to neglect.
“When charged, my client pleaded not guilty and intends to clear her name of the accusations brought through the court process,” she was quoted as saying.
Nur Aminahtul reportedly said that her statement was issued to avoid any misleading reports or misinterpretations by any media regarding the case against her client.
Last month, a video depicting the 13-year-old girl who was only identified as Bella surfaced on social media, showing burn marks and bruises all over her body.
The minor was under the care of Rumah Bonda run by Siti Bainun, and is now under the responsibility of the Social Welfare Department.
The viral video sparked the online movement using the hashtag #JusticeForBella.
Yesterday, Siti Bainun claimed trial in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur for the charge in relation to the case.
If found guilty, she faces a maximum fine of RM50,000, a jail term of up to 20 years or both if convicted.
According to the charge sheet, Siti Bainun’s alleged neglect had caused physical and emotional injuries against Bella.
The offence was allegedly committed at a condominium unit in Section 10, Wangsa Maju between February and June this year.
Bail was fixed at RM12,000 and the case was set for next mention at October 4.