March 24 2018
By Pearl Lee
A SERIES of events at a courtroom, a public park and a school in recent days has left many baffled.
While strange things do happen, it is difficult to understand the rationale behind these episodes.
Petaling Jaya Sessions Court judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar meting out a good behaviour bond to Rozita Mohamed Ali who admitted abusing her 19-year-old maid Suyanti Sutrinoso in 2016. Rozita had used a kitchen knife, steel mop, clothes hanger and an umbrella in causing multiple injuries on the teenager’s head, hands, legs and internal organs.
It should be noted Rozita, said to be a Datin, was first charged with attempted murder only to have it reduced to voluntary causing grievous hurt.
Given the rising number of maid abuse cases and the bad press Malaysia has received over the years regarding the way we treat domestic workers, it is quite difficult to fathom how the trial judge came to the decision.
While the Attorney-General’s Chambers is appealing Rozita’s non-custodial sentence, tongues are wagging and public confidence in the judiciary continues to wane.
Tenaga Nasional Berhad disconnected power supply to SK Methodist Petaling Jaya on Feb 21 following an unpaid electricity bill of RM8,000.
It is understood the school was unable to settle the bill since September 2017 as it had not received funds from the Education Ministry.
Power supply was eventually reconnected the same day after the school managed to settle the outstanding bill.
Similar cases have occurred in other schools before.
There were claims over the years that state education departments would only disburse RM2,000 a year to schools to settle their utility bills.
The Education Ministry had previously said the practice of schools having to find their own funds to settle their bills should not surface as the government will ensure additional funds are allocated to schools.
An officer claiming to be from the National Landscape Department has been persistently harassing a group of Zumba enthusiasts at Taman Bukit Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Last Sunday, a group of women (many have been exercising at the park over the past 20 years) were warned by an officer named Melvin that they either lower down their workout music or risk having their weekend morning routine at the public park axed.
This was not the first time Melvin had insisted that the group abide by his instructions. He had ‘visited’ the group last month.
Melvin claimed there were complaints by the public to the police that the music was too loud.
Police officers, however, told The Mole they did not receive any complaints.
Zumba is a high intensity fitness programme that combines Latin and international music with dance moves. The highly addictive total body workout combines cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility.
Enthusiasts will tell you they cannot simply work out to the tunes of Richard Clayderman’s Ballade Pour Adeline.
The three cases show the lack of seriousness in addressing matters of public interest. The judge should have been more sensitive to the victim of the abuse case, especially after the death of Indonesian national Adelina Lisao, 21, last month following allegations of abuse by her employer in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
As the for the ‘blackout’ incident at the Petaling Jaya school, students and teachers should not be made to suffer due to bureaucratic incompetence. If lack of funds or later disbursement of funds is the culprit, then the Education Ministry must address this to ensure such an incident does not happen again.
As for the Zumba episode, be a sport and not a little Napoleon, Melvin.
Pearl is an award winning journalist. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @pearllee22