Sarawak MP calls for independent investigation into ‘baby snatching’ allegation in Sabah Hospital

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, Sept 19: There should be a transparent and independent investigation into the shocking allegations of infants of stateless mothers in a Sabah hospital being forcibly taken away and given up for adoption against their will.

The call was made by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, who continued to point out that there shouldn’t be any compromise on this matter and an independent investigation is important to get to the bottom of this to hold those responsible accountable, regardless of their positions and standing.

He claimed that while the Sabah Health Department on Saturday (Sept 16) did lodge a police report denying allegations that babies were being snatched in the state’s public hospitals, the timing of the report and the speed of the “internal investigation” – that the report was made a day after the news was reported – raised a lot of questions.

“While I do not question the professionalism of many of the health workers within the Health Department, but it is normal that many doubts are raised on the fairness of such an investigation, especially if it could possibly implicate themselves.

“That is why I welcome the Minister of Health’s stand in Parliament that there will not be a compromise on this matter and she is open to an independent investigation to be done, even suggesting to personally look into the issue by talking to the staff and even patients involved to get to the bottom of the matter.

“Such independent investigation must involve cross-ministry officers to properly address this systemic issue as it does not only involves the Ministry of Health. They must also look into possibilities whether it happens in other hospitals to the most vulnerable especially to the undocumented,” said Dr Yii in a statement.

Sabah Health Department Director Dr Asits Sanna had lodged a report on Sept 16 denying any knowledge of “baby snatching” having occurred at the hospital, here, or in hospitals elsewhere in the State.

Police had on the next day (Sept 17) confirmed receiving a report in relation to a portal report titled: “Baby snatching: How stateless mums lose their infants in Sabah hospital”, published on Sept 15.

The report alleged that babies of stateless mums were given away without their consent. — DayakDaily