In an appalling incident, a 16-year-old Malaysian schoolgirl kept a classmate’s schoolbag for 17 hours without realising that there was a dead newborn inside.
The classmate was handed the bag by the girl shortly after giving birth to the baby girl in the school. Doctors in Kuala Terengganu found out about the birth when the girl sought medical treatment complaining of abdominal pains, leading to her confession that she had put the dead infant in a school bag and given it to her friend.
“They found the dead baby girl in the bag. The friend was traumatised when she learned that she had been carrying around a bag containing a dead baby,” ACP Manoharan said, adding that the post-mortem showed the baby was successfully delivered, but suffered bruises on the head and had water in the lungs which led to her death.
Malaysia has seen an increase in the number of baby dumping cases recently. After dropping from 102 cases in 2008 to 79 in 2009, the figure of baby dumping increased to 91 in 2010 and to 98 in 2011. This year, so far 31 cases have been reported, Women, Family and Community Development Ministry deputy secretary-general Harjeet Singh said.
Feedback from counselling sessions at several shelter homes for those aged under 18 listed peer pressure and lack of knowledge about reproductive health as the two most important factors that led to unwanted pregnancies.