KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed Pertubuhan Kebajikan Rumah Bonda Kuala Lumpur’s (Rumah Bonda) application to challenge the Federal Territory Social Welfare Department’s (JKM) action in sealing its premises.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid dismissed the application after finding that the decision by the first respondent (Federal Territory JKM director) to seal the premises was correctly made under the Care Centres Act 1993.

Rumah Bonda, through its chairman, Siti Bainun Ahd Razali (pix), filed the judicial review application on Aug 13, 2021, naming the Federal Territory JKM director and the Women, Family and Community Development Minister as the first and second respondents.

Judge Ahmad Kamal said the court also found that the application had become academic since the Originating Summon filed by Rumah Bonda at the Magistrate Court here for an order that JKM remove the seal for its premises had been granted by the said court on July 15, 2022, subject to the condition that it will not operate as a care centre until it is registered.

“The court found that the applicant also knew that Rumah Bonda was not allowed to operate before registration as stated in the letter issued by JKM Wilayah Persekutuan to the applicant,“ he said.

Judge Ahmad Kamal said the court was of the view that the alleged abuse of Bella, a Down Syndrome teenager under its care was not the reason for the first respondent’s decision to seal Rumah Bonda, but rather because the premises had not been registered as a care centre under the Care Centres Act.

The judge said the second respondent should not be named as a party in the application as there was no proof that the second respondent was involved in the decision-making process.

“The decision to seal the premises made by the first respondent and the decision is not tainted with any illegality, irrationality or unreasonableness. Therefore, the court dismissed the judicial review application with no order as to costs,“ he said when delivering today’s decision through Zoom.

Lawyer Asiah Abd Jalil, represented Rumah Bonda while senior federal counsel Nur Idayu Amir acted for the respondents.

On Nov 15, 2021, the High Court, in allowing an objection by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, dismissed Rumah Bonda’s application for leave to initiate a judicial review on JKM’s action in sealing its premises at Taman Setapak, here.

On July 25, 2023, the Court of Appeal ordered the judicial review application by Rumah Bonda to be reverted for hearing at the High Court after a panel of three Court of Appeal judges in a unanimous decision, said there was merit in Rumah Bonda’s appeal.

In the application, Siti Bainun stated, among others, that the seal order issued by JKM on July 9, 2021, and the sealing of the premises on July 12 were influenced by public pressure, following media reports on allegations of child abuse at the home which went viral on July 5.

Siti Bainun claimed that the action by both respondents was done in haste following public pressure for JKM and the government to take action concerning the alleged abuse case at the premises.

Clickable Image
Clickable Image
Clickable Image