Petaling Jaya - More than 40,000 people have signed a petition calling for justice to be served equally to the rich and poor after a Datin escaped jail time for abusing her Indonesian domestic worker.
Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali was sentenced to a good behaviour bond of five years by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court last Thursday (March 15), even though the prosecution had called on the court to mete out a jail sentence.
The petition, started by an unnamed individual using the moniker "Equal Justice For Malaysians" on Saturday (March 17) on the change.com website has obtained 41,337 signatures as of noon Monday (March 19).
The petition is seeking 50,000 signatures before it is forwarded to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
Rozita was charged with abusing then 19-year-old Suyanti Sutrinso in 2016 using a kitchen knife, a steel mop, a clothes hanger and an umbrella.
She had caused multiple injuries to the victim's head, hands, legs and internal organs between 7am and 12pm on Dec 21, 2016 in a house in Mutiara Damansara.
The petition claims that Rozita's actions against Suyanti should have resulted in a "stricter punishment" rather than a good behaviour bond.
It added that that being rich and carrying the title of "Datin" should not give her the right to treat people in an inhumane manner.
"What message are we sending to our people and children? Malaysia needs to seriously look at our human rights issue," the petition said.
Rozita was initially charged under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years upon conviction.
However, the charge was later amended to causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means under Section 326 of the Penal Code.
The accused pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and Judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar sentenced her to be bound over for five years on a good behaviour bond of RM20,000.
Deputy Public Prosecutor V. Suloshani had urged for the court to mete out a jail sentence to serve as a deterrent against the accused, adding that the incident had gone viral on social media.
However, Rozita's lawyer, Datuk Rosal Azimin Ahmad, applied for a good behaviour bond, claiming that his client had "repented".
An online portal reported on Saturday (March 17) that Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali confirmed that his office would challenge the court's decision.
"The AGC (Attorney-General's Chambers) has filed a notice of appeal against the inadequacy of the sentence. Thank you," he told the portal.