FOR failing to make the grade, she was booted out of university and went to work as a guest relations officer (GRO) at a nightclub in Subang Jaya.
Having pursued a course in sports science at Universiti Technology Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam for about two years between 1999 and 2001, Siti Rahmah Azman Subramaniam, then aged 22, harboured hopes of being re-accepted by the university to continue her studies.
She was dejected when her appeal was ignored by the university.
One night in January 2002, while working at the nighclub, her hopes were renewed when a UiTM lecturer she knew, and his friends stepped into her workplace.
As she entertained them, the lecturer, Bakarudin Busu, then aged 35, made an offer to reinstate her to the university.
The lecturer’s offer was not done out of mere goodwill. There was a price Siti Rahmah had to pay.
Bakarudin demanded sexual favours for a night in exchange for pulling the strings to get her back to UiTM.
Over the next days, she received calls from the lecturer, who pestered her into giving in but she rejected his offer.
Disgusted by his demands, she confided in her boyfriend Sulkarnain Alias, a 25-year-old sales executive at the time, and told him to admonish Bakarudin.
Infuriated by what he had heard from his girlfriend, Sulkarnain called up Bakarudin and demanded a meet-up.
The lecturer, who was a sports journalist with a Bahasa Malaysia newspaper before joining UiTM, agreed to meet them.
On Feb 12, 2002, Sulkarnain gathered several friends before meeting Bakarudin at SS19, Subang Jaya at about 9.30pm.
What began as a civil discussion escalated to violence before Bakarudin was killed.
He was beaten up, slashed repeatedly with a sword and pushed into a monsoon drain before being set on fire.
Sulkarnain and his friends then left the scene.
He told Siti Rahmah that Bakarudin was dead.
Hours later the victim’s body was found and police went to work to bring the perpetrators to book.
Within days, Siti Rahmah, Sulkarnain and three of his friends were traced and nabbed.
Not long after, Siti Rahmah, Sulkarnain, forklift driver Noorman Ab Wahab, 24, Azizul Azual Jailani, 18, and Muhammad Zakwan Ahmad Zaki, 18, both college students at the time, were charged with Bakarudin’s murder.
The following year, the murder charge against Siti Rahmah was dropped and she turned prosecution witness.
Among the witnesses called up during the hearing was Bakarudin’s wife Mawarni Muhamad, 36, also a UiTM lecturer, who had taught Siti Rahmah when she was studying at the university.
As the trial progressed, Muhammad Zakwan was also acquitted in 2007. When the verdict was read by the High Court two years later, Sulkarnain, his best friend Noorman and Azizul received the death sentence.
In 2015, the trio exhausted their final appeal against the penalty when the Federal Court upheld the death sentence.
THE SUN DAILY