KUALA LUMPUR: Rumah Bonda welfare home founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali has been charged at the Sessions Court here with child neglect involving a 13-year-old girl with Down Syndrome.
The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out to her before Sessions Court judge Izralizam Sanusi here on Friday (Aug 20).
According to the charge sheet, Siti Bainun allegedly neglected the girl, known as Bella, causing her to suffer physical and emotional injuries.
The accused allegedly committed the offence at a condominium unit in Section 10, Wangsa Maju between February and June.
If found guilty of the offence under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 200, Siti Bainun faces a maximum fine of RM50,000, a jail term of up to 20 years or both if convicted.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor Shakira Aliana Alias proposed bail at RM20,000 in one surety and asked the accused to surrender her passport until the disposal of the case.
She also asked the court to order the accused not to disturb the witnesses and the victim.
“This is a public interest case and it involves a 13-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who was under the care of the accused at her home,” DPP Nor Shakira said.
Lawyer Nur’Aminahtul Mardiah Md Nor, who represented Siti Bainun, asked for a lower bail amount as her client had fully cooperated with the police during the investigation.
“We also want the court to consider her involvement in NGO work since 10 years ago, where she had rescued 60 women along with out of wedlock children. My client is not a flight risk as she wants to clear her name in court,” Nur’Aminatul said.
The court fixed bail at RM12,000 in one surety and ordered the accused to surrender her passport until the case is disposed of.
The case is fixed for mention on Oct 4.
It was reported that Bella was found with burns to her chest, hands, neck and thighs, allegedly from abuse, at a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju.
She is currently under the care of the Social Welfare Department.