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Baby dumping in Malaysia: causes and solutions (2)


14:54, September 14, 2010
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Malaysia is grappling with the rising cases of abandoned babies, "forcing" the
Malaysian police to investigate baby-dumping cases under the Malaysian Penal Code
for murder or attempt murder.

The Malaysian public blame premarital sex on the over-exposure to sexually-liberal


western culture, while the Malaysian government considers including sex education
in school syllabus.

Experts, on the other hand, say the first step to curb the rising trend is to start
educating the young about their choices.

Linda became pregnant when she was just about to graduate from high school.

Not knowing what to do, the 20-year-old was devastated as her parents wanted her
pregnancy to remain a secret.

But later she found the Kewaja Rehabilitation centre, a women's shelter in Kuala
Lumpur -- which has now become her temporary home until she is due in October
this year.

Pre-marital sex and having a child out of wedlock is deemed deeply shameful in
Malaysia -- a Muslim majority country.

They are not only regarded as a sin, but may also be a punishable crime.

Muslim couples found guilty of fornicating could be fined up to thousands of U.S.


dollars, jailed or caned.

Linda was fortunate to have sought help from a shelter.

But in a society where abortion is prohibited, many girls who share her experience are
left stranded and eventually choose to abandon their babies.

This year alone, the Malaysian police have discovered 65 abandoned infants, most of
them dead by the time they were found.
They were left in rubbish bins, on doorsteps and on the streets, prompting the
government to consider treating these cases as murder or attempted murder.

Dr. Meriam Omar Din, a psychology counsellor at the International Islam University
in Kuala Lumpur believes that cultural stigma that emphasizes abstinence is the main
reason why pregnant girls are so eager to hide their pregnancy.

"What they are doing is against the value of the family. It is like it is a mistake. They
become desperate, perhaps they cannot see the right person who can help them find
the solution," Meriam said in an interview with Xinhua.

"By the time they star thinking, the baby is out. That is the reason why they would
rather take the risk then to be rejected by the family.

"In our religion, of course having sex (before marriage) is wrong, but throwing away a
baby is worse. So I think throwing a baby is no longer caused by religious factor but
cultural factor," Meriam added.

She said the society's tendency to blame teenage pregnancy on women rather than
men -- could also be a contributing factor to the rising cases of abandoned babies.
"The woman has to make the decision alone, and they do not have anyone to turn to
and the man by then is not there anymore. To them, it is their fault because they are
pregnant. The man does not want to get married with them.

"If the embarrassment is one factor, if the man still stays and is willing to get married,
I do not think they will throw the baby, " said Meriam.

Women's shelters like the Kewaja Rehabilitation Centre are havens for many
desperate young girls who are pregnant, helping them recover psychologically and
physically while equipping them with skills that could get them a job after delivering
a child.

These shelters protect them momentarily from relatives and friends.

Meanwhile, religious bodies in Malaysia have also geared up to conduct frequent


checks on dormitories and hotel rooms against illicit sexual activities.

And the Malaysian government is now contemplating on teaching sex education in


school -- a much debated move for parents who fear it would promote sexual
behaviors at a young age.

Malaysians are struggling to curb teenage pregnancies and stop more babies from
being abandoned.

It is hard to find the perfect solution that everyone agrees on, but experts are now
suggesting that it is about time that they stop telling young people what not to do, and
instead educating them on how to make the right choices.

Source: Xinhua ( By Jia Ning Tan)


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CHILD is a priceless gift from Allah SWT. However, baby dumping is a social crisis and has a
chronic increase as many cases are occurring in Malaysian society. The baby dumping refers to
discarding or leaving alone, for an extended period of time, a child younger than 12 months of
age in a public or private setting with the intent to dispose of the child. Based on Bukit Aman
Police Headquarters statistics found a total of 580 babies were found dumped between year
2000 to 2006. This number of cases increase every year where as much as 65 baby dumping
cases has increased to 83 cases in the year 2006. In the first 5 months, almost everyday there
are reports on dumped baby cases.You read it on the front page of the newspaper or see it on
the nightly news...a newborn baby found in a back alley. This scenario had been more serious
from day to day although there are a lot about this in the mass media.

Mostly,among teenagers always seen to be involved in this situation. Teenage parents give birth
in a motel room and leave the child for dead in a dumpster. A girl gives birth in a school
bathroom at night. throws the baby into the garbage or in the toilet.These stories relate to one
of the most frightening realities of our culture today: some children are viewed as problems to
be thrown away rather than gifts to be treasured. More recently, the tragedy of Baby Dumping
has begun to be addressed by state legislatures throughout the nation. For example, a number
of states have passed laws to provide funding, care, and services for dumped children. These
legislative actions have also established 'safe houses' - public centers such as fire stations,
police stations, and other public areas where women can bring unwanted children rather then
leave them in trash receptacles. The hope is that, by offering an alternative to dumping,
women might leave their children with people who can help the baby. Surprisingly, these cases
have got a lot of attention from the community. So, what are the best opinions and ways that
should be taken to prevent this scenario from spreading?
Posted by Baby dumping among teenagers in Malaysia at 11:06 PM 14 comments
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Child dumping is the practice of dumping offspring outside of legal adoption.The dumped child
is called a foundling or throwaway. According to a reliable statistics, one baby is dumped every
week. A figure that has trebled in the past decades. Causes include many social and cultural
factors as well as mental illness.

One factor that leads to child dumping is teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is
defined as a teenage or underage girl becoming pregnant.This pregnancy of teenagers
are a mere result of the gratification of sexual urges. That pregnancy might not happen
only if studies were prioritized rather than having relationships with the opposite sex.
No premarital sex, no early pregnancy. Worst thing about this is that it is the child that
will suffer. If not aborted, they are dumped by their biological parents.

Another factor is the family break-up. Family break-ups happen after a long period of
misunderstandings, fighting and unhappiness. Sometimes they happen suddenly and it
is hard to understand why there needs to be change at all. Children are mostly affected
by this kind of situation. If both their mother and father decided to a divorce and one
cannot raise their child alone, tendency is that they will dump their child. This child will
become homeless and found himself alone.

Poverty is also another factor that causes child dumping. Persons in cultures with poor
social welfare systems who are not financially capable of taking care of a child are more
likely to dump him/her. Political conditions, such as difficulty in adoption proceedings,
may also contribute to child dumping, as can the lack of institutions, such as
orphanages, to take in children whom their parents cannot support. Societies with
strong social structures and liberal adoption laws tend to have lower rates of child
dumping.

Psychologists believe that even short-term dumping can damage a child’s emotional and
social development. “Even short separations could have a negative effect on the child’s
ability to form close relationships,” said Dr Michael Boulton, a child psychologist at the
University of Keele. “Babies often form attachments with their mother before birth.
They know their mother’s smell and turn to them when anxious or distressed. If they
suddenly find they have gone it can be very damaging.”

Dr Boulton said that mothers who dump their children normally do so under desperate
circumstances. “Having one’s first child is the most stressful experience someone can go
through. Young mothers can be vulnerable, especially if they are alone and do not have
the experience or social support to cope.”

PREVENTION

Long-term solutions to the problem of baby dumping require efforts at prevention.


Steps must be taken to prevent unwanted pregnancies, provide assistance to parents in
crisis, and increase communication within families and communities.

• Sexuality Education

Baby dumping presumably results from unwanted pregnancy. To prevent baby


dumping, it is therefore ultimately necessary to educate individuals about sexuality. We
supports age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, and recommends that
schools and communities provide comprehensive sexuality education to all youth and
families.

• Responding to Unwanted Pregnancy

Individuals experiencing unwanted pregnancies must receive support and services.


Communities should examine their capacity to provide the range of supports and
services needed by individuals experiencing unwanted pregnancies. These services must
also be publicized; people cannot use services that they do not know about. Finally,
education efforts should strive to increase communication among youth, families, and
communities. Increased communication may minimize the shame and secrecy
associated with an unwanted pregnancy and make young people more likely to take
advantage of supports and services in their families and communities.
The other ways to prevent this problem are :

- focusing the prevention programs towards the regions and categories of population
with increased risks of dumping;
- setting up a coherent reporting and monitoring system as regards the dumping and the
risk of abandonment;
- hiring social workers in all sanitary units depending on the number of doctors existing
in the unit;
- hiring community medical assistants and physicians in all the communities presenting
increased risks of dumping;
- standardizing the written forms and the procedures of registering women which get
admitted in maternities in order to give birth;
- elaborating procedures for keeping records of mothers and children without identity
papers and creating a database on this matter.

" Having sex after marriage is safer and it can reduce the abortion and baby dumping
rate. It also helps us be more responsible and not to have sex just to satisfy our lust "
Posted by Baby dumping among teenagers in