64% of abandoned babies are found dead

Baby creches have been set up in various places to accept babies which will otherwise end up dead or be abandoned in toilets and garbage areas. (Bernama pic)

JASIN: About 64% of the 945 babies abandoned between 2010 and last year were found dead.

They had been left in places like public toilets and garbage areas, said Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh.

She urged female teenagers, especially those who became pregnant out of wedlock, not to abandon their babies but to hand them over to the authorities or the Social Welfare Department so that they could be saved and adopted.

Yeoh said more than 1,000 married couples were on the waiting list to adopt children from the Social Welfare Department.

“Our main focus now is to save the babies because they are innocent and their lives priceless.

“Female teenagers who give birth out of wedlock can get help by calling the Talian Kasih number 15999.

“The department will go to wherever they are to see how they can be helped.

“There are many parents who are waiting for the chance to adopt these babies.

“If they are handed over to the Social Welfare Department, they can be saved,” she told reporters after visiting Sekolah Harapan Negeri Melaka here today.

Sekolah Harapan was opened in 2011 for pregnant young unmarried women. There are currently 10 residents aged between 16 and 27 staying there.

Yeoh said 65 cases of abandoned babies were recorded between January and May this year.

The three states which had the highest number of cases were Johor (13 cases), Selangor (11) and Kedah (five).

She said girls who became pregnant out of wedlock should not be cast out but should instead be helped so that their lives can improve after delivering their babies.

She said according to health ministry records, the number of babies born out of wedlock to youths aged between 10 and 19 dropped from 18,000 cases in 2011 to 10,501 last year.