Absurd that Bella was abused in laundry room, says Siti Bainun

Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali also denied she had stepped on Bella’s knee, saying it would have broken as she was ‘too heavy’ at that time. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali told the sessions court here today that allegations of her abusing a teenage girl with Down Syndrome known as Bella in the laundry room of a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju, were absurd.

In refuting the allegation, Siti Bainun, 31, said the laundry room was too small for four people, including Bella, to be there.

She said this when questioned by her lawyer, Farhan Maaruf, during her defence trial on a charge of neglecting and abusing the 13-year-old girl.

“We (Siti Bainun and fifth prosecution witness Yasmin Nahar Mahmood ) can sit in the room to keep the things there, but it is impossible for me, Yasmin, Aida and Bella to be in the room together.

“The room is small and there’s also a cupboard in there,” she added.

Siti Bainun also denied that she stepped on Bella’s knee.

“Had I done so, Bella’s knee would have been broken and injured because of my (heavy) weight at that time,” she added.

When asked by Farhan about a thermos flask falling on Bella being a fabrication, Siti Bainun said the incident happened when she (Siti Bainun) was not at home.

She also told the court that Yasmin was never treated like a “servant”’and that she was always given the same treatment as her children, including holding birthday celebrations for her.

“I don’t practise favouritism. I love Aida and Balqis like my own children.

“Yasmin is a resident of Rumah Bonda, but I pay more attention to her than other residents of Rumah Bonda.

“I didn’t buy a birthday cake for Aida, but Yasmin got her a birthday cake.

“Yasmin helps me when I have an emergency, such as having to go to the hospital.

“Otherwise, I am always at home because I do business from home, and work from home,” she said.

Yasmin, in previous testimony, said she was treated like a servant by Siti Bainun while at the home.

Siti Bainun is charged with neglecting and abusing Bella, causing her to suffer physical and emotional injuries at a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021.

The charge comes under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison or a fine of RM50,000 or both, if convicted.

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