2 ex-kindergarten teachers charged with child abuse

Rozana Sawal and Nor Sulastri Suratmi Bahrom being led to the Melaka Sessions Court. (Bernama pic)

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

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

On the first count, Rozana was charged with physically abusing a three-year-old boy by slapping him on the face until the child fell off his chair.

She was also charged with committing the same offence against a five-year-old boy by slapping him twice on the cheek.

Nor Sulastri Suratmi 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 against a three-year-old boy by biting the child’s arm.

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

The two women, whose teaching permits have been withdrawn, were charged under Section 31 (1)(a) of the Child Act and face imprisonment for up to 20 years, a maximum fine of RM50,000, or both, if found guilty.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, saying the videos showing them allegedly abusing the children which had gone viral should not influence the court’s decision.

Mohd Nasir allowed the two women bail of RM10,000 with one surety each and told them to report to the nearest police station every month. They were also barred from going near the witnesses.

The court set Sept 26 for mention.