THE Government should establish a more comprehensive protocol and take stern action when it comes to dealing with welfare homes and orphanages.  

“The authorities should learn their lesson following Bella’s abuse case in the orphanage. We must ensure our civil servants no longer become derelict in their duties until another gets abused,” said Muslim Consumer Association of Malaysia (PPIM) president Datuk Nadzim Johan, in a statement. 

Recently, the nation was shocked after it was found that Rumah Bonda founder, Siti Bainun Ahd Razali had been abusing Bella, a girl with Down Syndrome, who was placed under her care.  

It was said that Siti Bainun had been abusing Bella for almost four months, between March and June last year.  

During the court proceedings, disturbing details started emerging on how Bella was abused, where  she was scalded and her food was spiked with vinegar and chilli. 

The centre operator is currently facing trial 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. 

Touching on the mater, Nadzim urged the authorities to not only focus their attention on Siti Bainun but also a host of others who failed in their duty to protect Bella.   

“For starters, the teenager was placed in a home which has no license. Who made the decision to do so? What was the welfare officer who was tasked to monitor Bella’s wellbeing doing all this while?  

“All these people must be investigated too as they have failed in their duty to protect Bella,” he stressed.  

Foresight needed  

Nadzim also reminded the public that apart from Bella, seven other children including babies had been sent for care at Rumah Bonda by the Welfare Department (JKM) before this.  

“So, stop pointing fingers at one another. Haul up all those who failed Bella including civil servants who put the kids there,” he added.  

On that note, the veteran consumer advocate lamented that the authorities were only investigating a crime just to close a case instead of working on a long-term plan as a deterrence.  

“What guarantee can the authorities, particularly JKM, give that such a crime will never happen again on other children by imprisoning one person? This is why we need some foresight and work on a comprehensive solution,” Nadzim remarked. – April 17, 2022

Article by: Focus Malaysia