KUALA LUMPUR: Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali told the Sessions Court that she had never stepped on or kicked Bella’s stomach while the teenager was in her care.
Siti Bainun, 31, said an examination carried out by Dr Meenambigai PK Sevarajah at the Emergency and Trauma Department of Kuala Lumpur Hospital, found that Bella's lungs, abdomen and legs were in good and normal condition.
"Bella is very, very healthy. She does not have asthma or any illness. This finding shows that I have never stepped on and kicked her stomach, or ordered her to stand for a long period and the abuses that the prosecution witnesses fabricated had never happened.
“In fact, Bella's legs were reported not to be swollen," she said when reading her witness statement on the second day of her defence trial before judge Izralizam Sanusi on Friday (Jan 27).
Siti Bainun said the bite marks on Bella's stomach were caused by a fight between the teenager and a former resident of Rumah Bonda, known as Balqis, over a facial wash.
She said after both girls bit each other, she rubbed “minyak gamat” (sea cucumber ointment) and put cream on the bite marks, saying that Bella and Balqis had a love-hate relationship.
On the burn marks suffered by Bella caused by hot water from a thermos during another fight with Balqis in May 2021, Siti Bainun said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she bought medicine to treat the burn marks based on the advice provided by the clinic and pharmacy, adding that the wounds healed within a month except those on Bella’s wrists.
According to her, she took Bella to a nearby clinic for further treatment.
"I did not abuse Bella. If I intended to hurt Bella, I would not try to heal her (wounds); there was no need for me to ask the pharmacist for the right medicine to treat her and spend money to buy all the necessary items and the best medicines,” she said, adding that she had provided the best treatment for Bella as a mother and a normal person would have done for her child.
On the allegation that she treated Yasmin like a slave, Siti Bainun said she had no idea where it came from, adding that this allegation was to influence the court and the people apart from making the “storytelling” on social media juicier.
Siti Bainun said Yasmin was like her own child and from Yasmin's diary, it was clear that the teenager loved her and her younger siblings at the welfare home.
"We lived simply. If there was extra money, I would buy them the food that they wanted, also jewellery, including for Yasmin.
"Yasmin fabricated a twisted tale about me in this court, (but) I still love her. She was one of the first teenagers that I saved and in my care. I know she and her father were threatened that Yasmin will be the scapegoat,” she added.
On Nov 24 last year, the judge ordered Siti Bainun to enter her defence on two charges of neglecting and abusing Bella after the prosecution managed to establish a prima facie case against her at the end of the prosecution case.
Siti Bainun, 30, was alleged to have committed the offence in a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021.
The charges were framed under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 which carries imprisonment for up to 20 years or a fine of RM50,000, or both, if found guilty.
The trial continues on Feb 20. - Bernama