Rina Harun apologises for breaching protocol handfeeding blind girl

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Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun today apologised for raising Covid-19 concerns over her action to hand-feed a young girl during a visit yesterday.

“I apologise if my action was an uncomfortable sight and raised questions or concerns among certain quarters,” said Rina in a statement today.

She said this in response to criticisms based on a viral picture that showed her feeding pieces of a burger to six-year-old Nur Azalea Zafirah, daughter of drummer Fendy Caliph Buskers, during a visit to their home in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.

Rina said Nur Azalea, who is blind and autistic, initially appeared unhappy but later grew more cheerful when offered the burger.

“Her father informed me that his daughter was unable to eat by herself and requires assistance.

“My heart was touched when the child said ‘nak aunty suap’ (aunty, can you feed me).

“In order not to disappoint this special child, I continue to feed her as part of a psychosocial approach in expressing my love as a woman to children, let alone to this less fortunate person,” the Titiwangsa MP said.

Rina added that she maintained a high level of personal hygiene and constantly sanitised her hands during any visits or interactions.

Her visit, along with Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal, was arranged following Fendy’s appeal for financial assistance to continue staying in Kuala Lumpur with his daughter.

Malay-daily MStar yesterday reported Fendy as saying he had nearly run out of savings with no income from performances since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 30-year-old was previously married to Nadira Rubina, a member of Caliph Buskers, until their divorce in 2018. – Malaysiakini