Fatimah: Baby dumping case under investigation

Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING, Jan 14: The case of a baby dumping at Jalan Bukit Mata has caused public outrage.

Acknowledging it, Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said it is the first baby dumping case reported for 2021.

“We can understand public’s anger. The picture of the lifeless newborn baby sprawled on the ground is heart-wrenching.

“The case is still under investigation. Questions that come into mind are, what could have triggered such tragic act? Was it an act of panic?

“Was it due to her (the baby’s mother) inability to think clearly – (That she has to) shouldering the pressure alone, having to hide her pregnancy all this while, giving birth to an unwanted baby, is the proof of the forbidden sexual behaviour that she has engaged with her boyfriend.

“And where is the boyfriend at a time she needs him most?” said Fatimah in a press statement today.

Fatimah who is also Dalat assemblywoman said her ministry specifically Social Development Council together with its strategic partners will continue to carry out programs and activities to reduce teenage pregnancies, pregnancies outside marriage and baby dumping.

Special focus she said will be placed on risky behaviours leading to unwanted pregnancy and previous efforts had shown that there has been a drop in teenage pregnancies in Sarawak as shown by statistics.

In 2018, there were 10 cases of baby dumping. In 2019 and 2020, there were five cases respectively.

“There is a need for a holistic and an integrated action to educate not only girls but also importantly the boys, parents and community on our collective responsibility for this issue, the danger of teenager pregnancies, identifying and avoiding risky behaviours, the available support system for unwed mothers and that they are not alone. And they need not be alone when help is available at hand,” said Fatimah.

Meanwhile, on teenage pregnancies, Fatimah revealed that there were 2,130 case in 2017; 2,153 cases in 2018 and 1,967 cases in 2019. For last year, statistics are still not available. — DayakDaily