KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — The Sessions Court today was told that Bella, a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome, was fed with rice mixed with vinegar, turmeric, salt, soy sauce, chilli and chili flakes as well as rotten fried chicken during the fasting month by Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali.
Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, 18, a resident of Rumah Bonda, said Bella was told by Siti Bainun to finish the rice even though the teenager was already full because she had eaten in secret during Siti Bainun’s absence at the welfare home.
“It was during the fasting month, when Siti Bainun came back that night and she found out that Bella had eaten in secret, Siti Bainun told her to finish a pot of rice poured with vinegar, turmeric, salt, soy sauce, chilli and chilli flakes,” she said when cross-examined by Siti Bainun’s lawyer Asiah Jalil at the trial of Siti Bainun who is accused of neglecting and abusing Bella.
The fifth prosecution witness said Siti Bainun had also instructed her to fry rotten chicken and told Bella to eat five pieces of chicken thighs.
Yasmin said Siti Bainun also fed Bella 20 ‘cili padi’ (bird’s eye chillies) and asked the witness or another resident of Rumah Bonda, known as Aida to count the chillies.
Asked by another lawyer, Farhan Maaruf, on how many times the incident happened and whether Siti Bainun specifically asked for 20 chillies, the witness replied: “Many times and Siti Bainun wanted 20 chillies”.
The witness also agreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that the incident happened several times a week.
Farhan: Can you say four times a week? Yasmin replied: Ok.
Farhan: So, if Bella has eaten 80 chillies a week, wouldn’t Bella’s mouth been bruised or turn red? Yasmin replied: Her mouth was red.
Farhan: During yesterday’s proceedings, you said Bella was abused every day for four months, so if we count, about 1,280 chillies were given to Bella (within four months), wouldn’t Bella’s mouth been bruised.
Yasmin: She (Bella) ate them, then spat them out.
According to Yasmin, Siti Bainun also kicked the teenager in the stomach for not listening to her instructions.
“When Bella doesn’t listen and doesn’t finish the chillies, Siti Bainun will threaten to pour hot water on Bella. Siti Bainun will instruct me and Aida to hold Bella and force her to kneel. At that time, Siti Bainun kicked Bella in the stomach,” she said, adding that Siti Bainun did not allow Bella to drink water including sweet drinks.
Siti Bainun, 30, had pleaded not guilty to two charges of neglecting and abusing the teenager to the point of the victim suffering injuries and also emotionally.
The offences were allegedly committed at a condominium in Wangsa Maju, here, between February and June 2021, under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 which carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years or a fine of RM50,000 or both, upon condition.
The trial before judge Izralizam Sanusi continues tomorrow.