HomeNationalBella's abuse case: Minister ready to request an audience with Johor crown...

Bella’s abuse case: Minister ready to request an audience with Johor crown prince

Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun speaks during an event in Kuala Lumpur April 9, 2022. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rina Harun is ready to request an audience with the Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Che’ Puan Besar Khaleeda Bustamam to brief them on the status of the abuse trial involving 13-year-old Bella, a Down Syndrome teenager.

In a posting on her official Facebook page today, Rina said she would also present the measures that the ministry had taken to assist the trial.

She said the offer made by TMJ to provide the services of his lawyers for free to hold a watching brief on behalf of the ministry was helpful in efforts to uphold justice for Bella, adding that the ministry welcomed the offer and would work closely with his lawyers.

Expressing her gratitude for the offer, Rina also said that she was moved by the concern shown by TMJ and Che’ Puan Besar Khaleeda who were following the trial.

Rina also called on Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) to pray for the trial to be made eased and for the truth to prevail at the end of the trial.

The case went viral on social media last year when a woman claimed that the teenager was scalded by hot water and was tied while under the care of Rumah Bonda, a welfare home.

Following that, Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali, 30, is charged with two counts of neglecting and abusing the girl that resulted in the victim sustaining physical and emotional injuries in a condominium in Wangsa Maju here between February and June 2021, under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment or an RM50,000 fine or both.

Siti Bainun pleaded not guilty to the charges. — Bernama

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