Rina Harun denies not taking action on Down syndrome girl Bella’s case

Rina Harun denies not taking action on Down syndrome girl Bella’s case

KUALA LUMPUR (April 22): The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry today denied allegations that it took no action with regard to the neglect and abuse case of a teenage girl with Down syndrome known as Bella.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun said among the actions taken was depriving Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali of her lawful right to custody of her adopted children last year.

Apart from that, she said her ministry had also imposed a seal order on the welfare home and issued a compound in July last year.

“We have provided emotional guidance and support (to Bella) because she was traumatised, we need to make sure she is healthy both physically and emotionally.

“We have also tightened the law (for adoption). Several amendments have been made to ensure things like this never happen again,” she said after a ceremony to handover tents and Syawal aid at Dewan Komuniti Desa Pandan, here yesterday.

Asked why she remained silent on the case, Rina said it was to safeguard the well-being and safety of the teenager.

“There are things that (we have done) before that we did not make public, but (it) does not mean that we do not do anything or take any action,” she said. — Bernama