KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — A resident of Rumah Bonda today admitted that the burn marks suffered by a teenage girl with Down syndrome known as Bella were due to hot water from a thermos flask and not from a water dispenser.
Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, 19, agreed with lawyer Nurul Hafidzah Hassan’s suggestion that Bella was playing with the flask in the laundry room of a condominium in Wangsa Maju before the water in the flask spilt on her.
Nurul Hafidzah is representing Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali (picture) who is charged with two counts of neglecting and abusing the teenage girl, causing the victim to suffer physical and emotional injuries.
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 conviction.
Testifying before the Sessions Court Judge Izralizam Sanusi, the fifth prosecution witness also agreed with Nurul Hafidzah’s suggestion that she had told the police the same thing (regarding the thermos flask) at the condominium lobby on July 7, 2021.
Previously, Yasmin told the court that Siti Bainun ordered her to splash hot water from the water dispenser on Bella three times a week using a yellow plastic cup without a handle and a syringe.
Asked by the lawyer about the cause of the water spill from the flask was due to a scuffle between Bella and another resident known as Balqis after the former finished Balqis’ face wash and snacks, the witness said she was not sure.
Yasmin, however, did not agree with the suggestion made by another of Siti Bainun’s lawyer, Nur A’minahtul Mardiah Md Nor, that no water dispensers or water heaters were confiscated as the police officer who came to the condominium only took the thermos flask.
Yasmin also disagreed with Nur A’minahtul’s suggestion that she was the one who tied Bella and refused to give the girl water to drink which was witnessed by a resident named Siti.
She also disagreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that her testimony to the court was fabricated and aimed at putting Siti Bainun behind bars.
Asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Zahida Zakaria about the piece of cloth allegedly stuffed in Bella’s mouth by Siti Bainun, the witness said she did not tell the police about the matter after Siti Bainun instructed her not to do so.
“If I told the police, I would be scolded, I don’t trust anyone, the cloth smell…it was thrown away,” said the witness.
The trial continues tomorrow. — BERNAMA