Babies and hatches: views from Sabah

The government must introduce a credible national sex education curriculum urgently to educate youths on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and unwanted pregnancy.

This was the general consensus of a public poll conducted by Komunitikini here.

All 60 respondents from all walks of life and ethnicities also welcomed the introduction on baby hatches, so that infants may be properly cared for.

The more religious among those surveyed, however, are not in favour of a secular approach to sex education.

In Sabah, unofficial baby hatches have always been available at convents, places of worship or the homes of the benevolent.

These unwanted babies were put up for adoption, or placed at orphanages by the authorities.

One practical consequence of the phenomenon of baby dumping is the need for more foster homes or orphanages, and the funds to run them.

If abortion is sanctioned by the government and is widely and cheaply available at government and private hospitals, the incidence of baby dumping would drop.

However it may lead to the attitude that human life is expendable.

Many now opt to dump their babies to avoid a life-long social stigma.

Their babies would have a better life elsewhere than being raised by a single, unready parent who cannot provide for the baby.

Single parenthood would be viable if it was socially accepted without recrimination and blame.

The Malaysian government needs to gear its policies towards the same.