KUALA LUMPUR – The Down Syndrome girl, Bella was left to sleep alone in the laundry room without any mattress, pillow or blanket.
The eight prosecution witness, Suhana Zam, 40, said that she noticed the ill fate of the differently abled girl when she slept in the condominium rented by the Founder of Rumah Bonda, Siti Bainun Ahd Razali at Irama Wangsa, Wangsa Maju on 21 May 2021.
Suhana who has known Siti Bainun since 2009 said that she was planning to sleep in that condominium for two days as she wanted to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri with the residents of that shelter home.
She, who is a law researcher at a legal firm was shocked to see Bella being left to sleep in such state.
“I was working until 4.00 am. I went to the kitchen to throw rubbish and I thought that the rubbish bin was in the laundry room. I tried to open the door and I kicked something on the floor. Then, I switched on the light and saw Bellay lying on the floor without blanket, mattress and pillow.
“I was shocked and speechless. I didn’t know what to do when I saw that for the first time as it was 4.00 am and I was too tired. I was stunned for about 10 to 15 seconds.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw. I shut the door, turned off the light, I locked and entered my room and lay down,” Suhana told the court during the main examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor, Nor Azizah Mohamad.
She added, during the Hari Raya feast the next day, Bella did not wear new clothes like other children who stayed in that condominium.
Siti Bainun only told one of the resident named Aida to help Bella put on her raya clothes after she was asked.
“At first, Bella stood near the refrigerator as there were many people. During the salam session, I remembered Kak Haiza said, ‘Bella, come here’.
“At that time, Bella was wearing normal daily wear, not the raya clothes. The rest of the people were wearing raya clothes. She was wearing T-shirt and pants. When Kak Haizah called out loudly, Bainun heard her. After that, Bainun told Aida, “Aida, go help Bella change into her clothes’,” Suhana said.
According to her, Aida followed Siti Bainun’s order and changed Bella’s clothes with a new baju kurung.
Suhana added, when the salam session began, Siti Bainun asked Aida to fix Bella’s clothes as the wounds on her body could be seen.
“I heard Bainun said, ‘Fix her button. Fix it higher. People can see that wound, they would say that I abuse her,” said Suhana.
She added, the laundry room incident did not just happen once but Bella still continued to sleep in the same room on the second night when she was in the condominium.
Suhana said, she saw Siti Bainun went to Bella who was standing in front of the refrigerator at 12.00 midnight.
“When everyone went home, it was more relaxed and I continued to do my work for the office. I sat at the dining table. I noticed that Bella was standing in front of the refrigerator.
“What happened the night before made me feel anxious to see Bella standing dia. I looked at her from the corner of my eyes.
“At about 12.00 am, I noticed that Bainun went to the kitchen and I realised that she asked Bella to go into the laundry room by using sign language,” she said.
According to Suhana who has known Siti Bainun since she was working at Menara Dato’ Onn, after Bella went into the laundry room, the founder of Rumah Bonda went into her room to sleep.
Siti Bainun, 30, pleaded not guilty to two counts of neglect and abuse of the teenager, causing the victim to suffer from physical and emotional injuries.
She was charged with committing the offence at a condominium in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021.
The trial before Judge Izralizam Sanusi will resume on 30 June. -MalaysiaGazette