Malaysia: Newborn baby abandoned with emotional apology note

Are Malaysians incapable of caring for their own babies?

Abandoned baby in Malaysia
Representational image Pixabay

A family living in Kamunting got an unexpected Christmas gift when they found a newborn baby in front of their house with a note from its mother. The baby boy was wrapped in a green cloth and placed in a plastic bag. The family found it near their garage.

The note accompanying the infant was emotional. "Please take good care of this child. I am so sorry, I couldn't take care of him but I love him very much. I hope and want only the best for him. Please let him have a happy life," it said.

"Don't tell him what happened. I will watch him from afar. Don't let people insult him or call him illegitimate. Tell him uncle and auntie (the house owners) are the biological parents. I come from afar with hopes that he would have a better life."

Taiping police chief Supt Razlam Ab Hamid said that the baby was found after the man of the house came home at around 2.15 am and heard it crying. Soon, emergency services were called and the infant was taken to the Taiping hospital, reports The Malay Mail.

The baby is healthy and weighs between two and two and half kilograms, said the doctors. Currently, it is under the care of the Welfare Department. No one was spotted bringing or leaving the baby in that place.

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Malaysia has long been plagued by the problem of child abandonment. A 2013 study analyses the convention of abandoning babies and looks into teh "baby hatch" culture. A baby hatch is a compartment present in the walls of buildings, traditionally European churches and convents, where one can anonymously place a baby and it would be taken in by the concerned person.

Statistics say that 472 babies were abandoned between 2005 and 2009 in Malaysia, out of which 258 infants died before they were discovered. Only in the first eight months of 2010, 65 babies were abandoned in the country. Reports say that Selangor records the highest number of abandoned babies, with 157 cases in 2011.

Official figures say that a baby is left by its mother every four days but the number could be much higher in reality, with several such cases going unreported.

Factors such as drugs, pornography, illiteracy and poverty have been blamed for the rising number of such cases in Southeast Asia, whereas it has been seen that if these babies get proper opportunity in life, they can go places and achieve success.

Even celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Marilyn Monroe were abandoned in their childhood by their birth parents and given to foster care. Popular Indian actor and screenwriter Salim Khan adopted a girl child who was left on the footpath after her homeless mother died. That girl has grown up with the best opportunities and loads of love, as the sister of superstar Salman Khan.

Another Indian actor, Mithun Chakraborty, rescued an infant girl who was left at a roadside garbage dump by her biological parent. The celebrity took her home and named her Dishani. Now, the girl is all grown up and rumours say that she wishes to become an actor too.

This article was first published on December 26, 2017