By Tengku Faezah Tengku Yusof
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- The country was left shocked today by the news of the death of a baby girl due to gruesome physical and sexual abuse.
Such a sadistic and inhuman act has no doubt courted anger and criticism from the community, but for the mother who conceived and gave birth to the innocent baby, the whole episode has become a nightmare which will haunt her for the rest of her life.
"As long as Zara's (the baby) case is not settled, as long as the offender is not punished, I will not feel calm," said Noraihan Ab Aziz, 22, the mother of Nur Muazara Ulfa Mohammad Zainal, an 11-month-old baby who died on Friday after spending two days at the Serdang Hospital in critical condition.
She was believed to have been physically and sexually abused by the husband of her caretaker.
Noraihan, who works as a factory operator in Bandar Baru Bangi, said she never expected such a bleak tragedy would befall her family, leaving deep emotional scars in their lives.
"My heart ached when I looked at Zara's heart-wrenching condition, I leave it to the police to investigate and take appropriate action against the perpetrator," she said when contacted by Bernama.
Noraihan, her husband Muhammad Zainal Abduk Rahaman, 27, and their son, Muhamad Alif Zamani, 4, are now in their hometown of Rantau Panjang, Kelantan, where they buried Zara yesterday.
Noraihan had earlier expressed her grief on Facebook, posting the status: "You're in peace there my dear... Wait for mother in heaven..."
She also shared several photos of her with Zara, including the time she being treated in hospital, as well as those of the baby's funeral.
Recalling the grim incident, Noraihan said she was contacted by the Serdang Hospital on Wednesday evening, informing her that the baby was in critical condition after being brought there by the caretaker and her husband.
"The caretaker had called me five times, but my phone was out of coverage at the time.
"Upon arriving at the hospital, I found the caretaker feeling very sorry, but her husband was just calm as if nothing had happened," she said.
According to Noraihan, she came to know the babysitter two months ago, when she uploaded a status on Facebook looking for a caretaker, and the latter contacted her, offering the daycare service.
"I went to see her, and from the way she spoke to me, I saw nothing suspicious. However, at the time, the babysitter's husband and twenty-month-old son were not at home," she said.
Realising the fact that nothing can bring her daughter back now, she hopes that her ordeal can serve as a lesson to other parents, so that they are more careful in choosing a childcare centre.