By Musfirah Hasan
Just like a garment catalogue, the price is decided based on certain criteria. Pictures are also included so that the future customers can decide which one they like to purchase. They claimed to be an organisation that helps customers to find happiness by providing the one that they have been longed for.
Most recent shocking news in Malaysia, reported not by local journalist, has uncovered the awful truth about baby trafficking activities here in the country. According to a documentary by Al-Jazeera, they found out four facts regarding baby trafficking in Malaysia.
First, the babies are being traded like commodities in Malaysia. The babies are advertised like a product on social media. Second, the price are determined by race, skin colour, gender and weight. It stated that fair skin babies are the most expensive and demanded.
Third, corrupt doctors and government officials are falsifying birth documents. They are being paid by the agent to be a dealer and registering the babies at the National Registration Department. Forth, critics blame Malaysia’s complex adoption laws for creating the underground market. The process for legal adoption here is complicated as it takes lots of procedures and time.
What is more worrying is the alleged facts that these activities happened with involvement of corrupt doctors and government officials. One of the sickening facts contained in the 25 minutes video is that the activity is actually happening since long time ago but no action has been taken. In fact, a hidden camera recorded that it is a family business that has been run down for more than 30 years.
Responding to the documentary entitled “Malaysia: Babies for Sale – 101 East” produced by Al-Jazeera, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development has released an official statement urging police to investigate and arrest those who are involved in alleged baby trafficking activities.
Based on Section 48 of the Child Act 2001 (Act 611), any person found involved in child trafficking could be fined not more than RM 10,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years or both if found guilty. In addition, if the act is intended for sexual exploitation or prostitution, the offender could be fined up to RM 50,000 or imprisonment of not more than 15 years, or both if found guilty.
Despite the denial statement made by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who said that Malaysia is not a baby selling hub as reported by Al-Jazeera, this issue must be taken seriously and action must been taken especially to find out those who are corrupted among medical practitioners and government officers.
Because of the report, citizens might lose faith and having suspicious thought towards the two important positions in the society. We cannot deny the possibilities that those things are happening in Malaysia because in reality, lots of crimes have been reported in the country. Nothing is impossible now and citizens are aware about that.
Authorities should be responsible and thoroughly investigate this matter because baby trafficking is a worldwide issue. Worst thing ever that can happen to the babies are the fact that they are also being sold to be sex slaves or beggars. Just imagine that the babies growing up know nothing about what exactly they do and when they realised it, will they choose to escape or accept? ***