KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): A Singaporean woman on Wednesday (Oct 13) pleaded not guilty at the Ampang Sessions Court here to abusing an autistic child.

Sharifah Mazlan is accused of abusing the six-year-old child at an autism intervention centre in Bandar Baru Ampang at 10am on Oct 1.

The 51-year-old was charged under Section 31(1) (a) of the Child Act 2001, which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000, or up to 20 years’ in jail, or both, if convicted.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Suriantiazila Muhamad did not offer bail as the accused, who is a teacher at the centre, is a foreign national.

“If the court allows bail for the accused, then the prosecution proposes a high amount along with additional conditions,” Suriantiazila said.

Sharifah’s lawyer, Samry Masri, urged the court for bail as his client had a family to take care of, including three children of her own.

“Although the accused is a Singaporean citizen, she has been married to a local since 1998 and her husband is from Perak. Her three children, aged 17, 19 and 21, are Malaysians and two of them are autistic,” Samry said, while adding that Sharifah and her family have been residing in Ampang for the past 20 years.

Sessions Judge Norhazani Hamzah then set bail at RM13,000 with one surety and ordered the accused to present herself at the nearest police station once a month and for her passport to be impounded.

Norhazani then fixed Dec 9 for mention.

Later, at the Magistrate’s Court, Sharifah also pleaded not guilty to overstaying by nine months.

For that offence, she was charged under Section 15(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, and can be fined up to RM10,000 and jailed a maximum five years, or both, if convicted.

Magistrate Nur Maizan Rahim fixed bail at RM5,000 with two sureties and also set Dec 9 for mention. – Bernama

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