60,000 sign petition calling for justice as Datin Rozita maid abuse case goes back to court

Posed photo of a domestic helper being beaten.
The New Paper

Close to 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for justice, after a woman with the “Datin” title was given a five-year RM20,000 good behaviour bond for causing grievous hurt to her domestic helper.

Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali, 44, had pleaded guilty two years ago, but recent news of her sentencing was deemed unfair by social media users, who are now calling for human rights issues to be paid more attention in Malaysia.

The Star reported on Tuesday (Mar 20) that the High Court will hear an application to review Rozita’s sentence on Wednesday.

Rozita was initially charged with attempted murder, but the charge was later amended to causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means.

On March 17, Malaysia’s Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali confirmed his office would be appealing the sentence.

AGC has filed a notice of appeal against the inadequacy of sentence,” news website Malay Mail quoted him as saying.

The Datin was alleged to have abused her 19-year-old Indonesian helper, Suyanti Sutrinso, with a kitchen knife, a steel mop, a clothes hanger and an umbrella.

Photos being shared on social media show Suyanti Sutrinso’s face badly bruised and so swollen that she is unable to open her eyes.

Other than the injuries on her face, the helper is said to also have sustained injuries on her hands, legs and internal organs.

Appalled by the circumstances of the case, social media users were quick to react and started an online petition in response on March 17.

Since then, the number of signatures has been growing rapidly. A total of 59,900 people had added their names to the cause by 11:30am on March 20.

“We call for equal justice for the rich and poor,” a blurb on the petition page read.

Describing Rozita’s actions as “despicable” and “inhumane”, it called for her to be charged with attempted murder or intent to cause serious bodily harm.

“Even if she’s a Datin, rich and have connections doesn’t give her the right to treat people like that (sic).

“What message are we sending to our people and children? Malaysia needs to seriously look at our human rights issue,” the petition said.