KUALA LUMPUR: Siti Bainun Ahd Razali, the founder of welfare home Rumah Bonda, 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 before Sessions Court judge Izralizam Sanusi here yesterday.
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 this year.
The charge under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or up to 20 years’ imprisonment or both, if convicted.
Deputy public prosecutor Nor Shakira Aliana Alias proposed bail at RM20,000 in one surety and asked that the accused be ordered to surrender her passport until the disposal of the case.
She also requested that the accused be told not to disturb the witnesses and 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 on the grounds that her client had fully cooperated with the police during the investigation.
“We also want the court to consider her decade-long involvement in NGO work, during which she rescued 60 women along with children born out of wedlock.
“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 was disposed of.
The case was fixed for mention on Oct 4.
It was previously reported that Bella was found with burn marks on her chest, hands, neck and thighs at a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju.
She is currently under the care of the Social Welfare Department.