& @RinaMohdHarun (Twitter)
Footage published by media show the Women, Family, and Community Development Minister visiting Bella — who is a person with Down Syndrome — in a hospital but she is seen constantly hugging the arm of a nurse as if she is uncomfortable with a group of people being in the same space with her.
Camera lights keep flashing at Bella as she is seen looking down throughout the 45-second video that has gone viral on Twitter.
Even a photo uploaded on Rina’s official Twitter account depicts Bella looking down while she is believed to be playing with a stamp on a piece of artwork.
In a tweet, she called the minister to “stop with photo ops”.
“It’s not about you documenting proof that you care. It’s not about you putting on an act to buat kerja (work). Suddenly! Waah sibuk (busy). Insensitive and clueless on child protection.”
Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, Hartini said the minister was only getting involved after Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and his wife expressed their concern over the 13-year-old, who is the subject of an ongoing trial for alleged neglect and abuse at the hands of Rumah Bonda welfare home founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali.
“I have never met someone as shallow and thoughtless as Rina Harun. She is clearly inept at being a minister, and if she has even a shred of decency, (she) should step down and realise that no one is falling for her bullsh-t,” tweeted a netizen.
“Rina Harun is terrible. Bella is still traumatised. From the way she holds the nurse’s hand, we can feel her fear,” another netizen added.
“Why did you take her out to see the photographers? Don’t you have a heart? All these are for your publicity and you don’t care about others.”
“Rina Harun and photo ops will never end. How insensitive can you be to bring that [many] people and cameras focusing on one [traumatised] child?” asked a Twitter user.
It is alleged that Siti Bainun abused Bella while under her care.
Since then, Siti Bainun was charged with two counts of neglecting and abusing the teenager at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
Witness Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, an 18-year-old resident of Rumah Bonda, had testified that Siti Bainun began disliking Bella after the girl pulled a curtain and dislodged it from the rod, reported New Straits Times.
She also told the court that Bella was forced to eat 80 chillis in a week while living in the welfare home.
After these shocking revelations, the Johor crown prince said he will offer the services of his lawyers to defend Bella in the trial, and that he will be contacting Rina over the matter.