For the past week, social media has been abuzz with the ongoing case of a 13-year-old girl with Down Syndrome named Bella and the founder of Rumah Bonda, Siti Bainun. As per reports, the latter is charged with two counts of neglecting and abusing the teen, between February and June 2021, which resulted to the victim suffering physical and emotional injuries.
As part of the #JusticeForBella movement online, many netizens (and even local celebrities) have taken to their social media platforms to call for the perpetrator to receive appropriate punishment. The issue has also caught the attention of the royal couple, Che’ Puan Khaleeda Bastamam and her husband, the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, to air their thoughts on the matter.
In a post uploaded on her IG Story, the 28-year-old had stated that with the power she has, she would do everything to get justice for Bella. “I’m sick and tired of these cowards who think they can do whatever they want to these helpless children and get away with it. You can hide behind your army of lawyers, but karma will eventually hit you so hard in the ‘dunya’ and also the hereafter. You will definitely be made an example for the rest of the other cowards out there to not even think of the thoughts in the future,” Che’ Puan Khaleeda angrily expressed.
After Her Highness posted her statement, TMJ later took to his socials to release a statement on the matter. According to the Johor Prince, he has reached out to and also discussed with his legal teams in regards to the case. In the same social media posting, Tunku Ismail revealed that he would contact, Datuk Seri Rina Harun, the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, apart from offering the services of his lawyers for free to hold a watching brief on behalf of the Ministry.
The latter issued her response to TMJ’s offer with a statement posted on her official social media pages. In this case, Rina stated that she would seek an audience with both His Royal Highness and YAM Che’ Puan Khaleeda to brief them on the status of the abuse trial, as well as the measures taken by the Ministry.
“We extend our gratitude (to the Johor Prince) for offering free legal services to hold a watching brief on behalf of the Ministry for the case. This is very meaningful for the ministry in strengthening efforts to uphold justice for Bella,” the Minister said in her statement.
4. Buat seluruh Keluarga Malaysia, dalam bulan Ramadan yang mulia ini, marilah kita terus memanjatkan doa semoga urusan perbicaraan kes penderaan adik Bella dipermudahkan dan kebenaran dan keadilan dapat dibuktikan di akhir perbicaraan kelak.
— Rina Mohd Harun (@RinaMohdHarun) April 17, 2022
Furthermore, Rina said that the Ministry welcomes this invitation and will work closely with the lawyers appointed by Tunku Ismail. She then concluded by calling for the public to pray for truth and justice to be proven at the end of the trial.