Caretaker didn't care for my baby at all, her husband did: Mum

Nurul Hidayah Bahaudin

KUALA LUMPUR: The young mother of the 11-month-old baby, who died due to sexual and physical abuse at the hands of her caretaker’s husband in Seksyen 16, Bandar Baru Bangi here on Friday, gets the shock of her life when she found out that the woman who was supposed to be the caretaker did not care for her baby at all! Instead, it was the husband who had been taking care of the baby.

“I did not know my baby was not being taken care of by the woman who claimed she was the caretaker. The one who took care of my baby was her husband!” cries the mother, Noraihan Ab Aziz.

The victim, Nur Muarzara Ulfa Muhammad Zainal or Zara, was rushed to the Serdang Hospital on Wednesday after she allegedly choked on a piece of apple, before she died at the hospital on Friday morning.

Post-mortem found that the baby had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse, including fractures on her skull and torn hymen.

The woman and her 36-year-old drug user husband had been arrested since and remanded to facilitate investigation into Zara’s death.

The police informed Noraihan that the man had been taking care of Zara since day one because he considered his wife to be ‘slow’.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, the devastated 22-year-old mother recalled on how her heart sank when a doctor called her from the hospital to notify the severity of Zara’s condition.

She said she had been sending her two children, a son aged five and Zara, to the caretaker since September, after the woman approached her on Facebook for a fee of RM550 for each child.

About two weeks ago, Noraihan noticed bruises on Zara’s arms, thighs and forehead.

Zara’s remains were buried at Kampung Lubok Gong Muslim Cemetery in Kelantan yesterday at 7.50am. Pic by Pic by NSTP/ Courtesy of Noraihan Ab Aziz

“Initially, I was reluctant to send her there again. I even brought it up with the caretaker but she told me that her 1-year-old son had accidentally bitten her. Zara also refused to drink milk because of her swollen lips and gums.

“After that, my husband and I decided to send Zara to my husband’s sister in Klang. But Zara cried a lot over there, so we had no choice but to bring her back to the woman,” she said, adding that Wednesday was the first day she sent Zara back to the caretaker.

On that fateful morning while she was at work, she texted the 28-year-old caretaker and asked about her baby.

“The woman assured me that Zara was calm around her, but would cry when the husband carried her. Otherwise, she said everything was under control. A few hours later, I got a call from the hospital,” she said, her voice cracked and she was close to tears.

Noraihan said she only found out from the police that the husband took care of Zara and not the woman she had been dealing with all this while.

“When she first approached me, the woman convinced me that she would take care of my children. She said she’s also a mother of a young son. I never expected it to end this way.

“All this while, I was under the impression that the woman was the one taking care of my child. I had no idea that it was her husband! I met him whenever I drop my children off or pick them back. He always had a very serious face,” added Noraihan, who had just started working at a factory in Bangi.

“I feel heart sick whenever I think about what he has done to my baby. I really want to see the person responsible to be severely punished. This is a difficult time for us, and we have accepted Zara’s death as fate. But we want to seek justice,” she said.

Zara’s remains were buried at Kampung Lubok Gong Muslim Cemetery in Kelantan yesterday at 7.50am. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd