Friday, March 22

Two former kindergarten teachers charged with child abuse


Rozana (centre) and Nor Sulastri (right) in the Sessions Court for abusing four children. — Bernama photo

MELAKA: Two former kindergarten teachers were charged in the Sessions Court here yesterday with two counts each of physically abusing four children at a kindergarten in Ayer Keroh last month.

Two videos that went viral allegedly showed the teachers hitting the children.

However, Rozana Sawal, 41, and Nor Sulastri Suratmi Bahrom, 22, pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were read out before judge Datuk Mohd Nasir Nordin.

On the first count, Rozana, was charged with physically abusing a three-year-old boy by slapping him on the face till the child fell off his chair. She was also charged with committing the same offence on a five-year-old boy by slapping him twice on the cheek.

As for Nor Sulastri Suratmi, she was charged with physically abusing a three-year-old girl by pulling the child up and placing her on the neck of another child, and pinching the girl.

She was also charged with committing the same offence on a three-year-old boy by biting the child’s arm.

All the offences were committed at Tadika Pusat Perkembangan Kanak-Kanak (PPKK) Seri Bijak Bestari, Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC), Ayer Keroh here between 9am and 11am last July 30.

The two women, whose teaching permits had been withdrawn, were charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act and faced an imprisonment for up to 20 years, or maximum fine of RM50,000, or both, if found guilty.

The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor Siti Ruvinna Mohd Rawi, did not propose bail as the alleged offences were serious and the case had drawn public attention and ire.

However, lawyers Zarin Zain and Farid Aziz, representing Rozana and Nor Sulastri Suratmi, respectively, requested bail for their clients and said that the videos that were viraled should not influenced the court’s decision.

Mohd Nasir allowed the two women bail of RM10,000 with one surety each. They also have to report at the nearest police station every month and not go near the witnesses.

The court set Sept 26 for mention. — Bernama