The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court was yesterday told that Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali had abused a teenage girl with Down syndrome known as Bella on a daily basis for almost four months.
Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, 18, a resident of Rumah Bonda, said the incident happened every night from March 2021 to June 24, 2021.
“Aida (fellow Rumah Bonda resident) and I were also instructed by Siti Bainun to hit Bella,” she said when cross-examined by Siti Bainun’s lawyer Farhan Maaruf.
Describing Bella’s personality when she first met the teenager, Yasmin said the 13-year-old girl was cheerful and chatty, but that her attitude would change when she saw Siti Bainun.
“Bella was very afraid of Siti Bainun and she was scared to leave the room,” said Yasmin.
Yasmin, the fifth prosecution witness, however disagreed with Farhan’s suggestion that she had endured the same fate as Bella.
Asked by the lawyer why she did not leave Rumah Bonda, Yasmin replied, “Siti Bainun did not allow me to do so.”
Meanwhile, Yasmin told the court that besides Bella, there was another Rumah Bonda resident, known as Kakak Hidayah who was also abused by Siti Bainun.
She revealed this after disagreeing with Farhan’s suggestion that no such incident had happened to other residents of Rumah Bonda or the adopted children of the founder of the welfare home.
Asked what Siti Bainun did to Kakak Hidayah, Yasmin replied, “Siti Bainun would not allow Kakak Hidayah to hold, look at and breastfeed her child if she did not listen to her instructions.”
Yasmin also disagreed with Farhan’s suggestion that she wanted to be treated like a princess at Rumah Bonda.
She said apart from cleaning the welfare home, she was also assigned the task of tidying up Siti Bainun’s bed and her clothes.
Siti Bainun, 30, pleaded not guilty to two charges of neglecting and abusing the teenager to the point of the victim suffering injuries as well as emotional distress.
The offences were allegedly committed at a condominium in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021, under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 which carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years, a fine of RM50,000 or both, upon conviction.
The trial continues before judge Izralizam Sanusi.