For the past week, social media has been abuzz with the recent issue of a Down Syndrome teen that was found in a dire state — with burns on her chest, hands, neck and thighs after allegedly being a victim of abuse at a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju, which was being used as a welfare home. The 13-year-old teen, known as Bella, was under the care of Taman Sinar Harapan (TSH) Tuanku Ampuan Najihah since 2011 before being handed over to a welfare home owned by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) as an adopted child last year.
Apart from having burns, she was also detected to be Covid-19 positive. Following that, a social media campaign under the name of, #JusticeForBella made its rounds on social media to hold the perpetrator accountable for his or her actions as well as to, ensure justice is served. The campaign was supported by tons of netizens, with many of them deeply affected by the news. The sentiment was echoed by some local celebrities too who felt equally devastated by this.
Here are some celebrities who have shown their support towards the #JusticeForBella campaign:
— Aizat Amdan (@MuhdAizatAmdan) July 12, 2021
I’m so happy that this hashtag is trending now 😭 if not lagi lambat tindakan akan diambil 😭
— 茜拉 (@Shilaamzah) July 12, 2021
— Sarimah Ibrahim™ (@sarimahi) July 12, 2021
It is understood that this incident has been reported to the authorities and it is being investigated under Section 31(1)(a) Children’s Act 2001 due to negligence, abuse and exposing children to situations that may cause physical injuries.
If found guilty, the perpetrators would be sentenced to a fine no less than RM50,000 or jail time, no longer than 20 years, or both. The Social Welfare Department (JKM) in Kuala Lumpur has ceased the operations of the welfare house involved in this abuse case.
So far, 2 individuals – Siti Bainun and Syed Azmi – are being criticised by netizens online.
Cuma ada beberapa keraguan dalam kes ini.
Dimaklumkan Bella tak duduk di Rumah Bonda. Syed Azmi juga menyebut tidak pernah bertemu Bella.
Jadi, yang di dalam Wanita Hari Ini bertarikh 31 Julai 2020 berbaju oren tu siapa? pic.twitter.com/NWn4MFLCe2
— Akhi Fairuz Al-Jengkawi (@akhifairuz_) July 12, 2021
We really hope the abusers would be held accountable for their actions and hopefully, this would serve as a reminder for the rest of us to always safeguard children at all costs.