Minister says 697 abandoned babies from 2010 to 2016

Siti-Rohani-Abdul-Karim-baby-new-bornKUALA LUMPUR: A total of 697 babies have been abandoned in Malaysia between 2010 and December 2016, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Siti Rohani Abdul Karim told the Dewan Rakyat today.

She gave the breakdown as follows – in 2010 there were 91 cases, followed by 2011 (98 cases), 2012 (89 cases), 2013 (90), 2014 (103), 2015 (111) and 2016 (115).

The breakdown by state highlighted, how over the same period, the most number of abandoned babies cases occurred in Selangor, with 157 cases.

“This was followed by Sabah and Johor, each with 84 cases, Kuala Lumpur, with 65, and Sarawak, with 49 cases,” Siti Rohani said.

She added that there are currently eight hospitals and an NGO called Orphan Care that provides baby hatch facilities to curb baby dumping.

The minister was responding to an oral question from Teo Nie Ching (DAP-Kulai) who had also raised the problem of citizenship of abandoned babies.

“For babies left in baby hatches, we try to register their late births then apply for citizenship. The babies have no documents but we still try to trace the parents.

“We also present the baby in court, but usually no one comes forward to claim the baby is their child.

”Abandoned babies who are adopted by families too, should go through a similar process. Citizenship can be given under Article 15(A) of the constitution for citizenship under special circumstances,” Siti Rohani said.

She also called for babies born out of wedlock to be duly registered.