Friday, May 05, 2006

Infanticide; A Moral Malaysian Dilemma.

In Penang, an 18-year-old college student has admitted to an infanticide charge in a sessions court and will be sentenced on May 15, 2006. The teenager, who committed the offence when she was 17, was originally charged with murder but she was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in January 2006.
She was then charged with infanticide under Section 309A of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of up to 20 years and is liable to be fined.
The girl, represented by Jagdeep Singh Deo, was originally charged with murdering her newborn boy with a knife in a house in Sungai Nibong at 4.40pm on April 13, 2005. (The Sun)

****How many of us have not heard of this type of crime? Young girls in sheer desperation either abandoning their babies in toilets, at bus stops, garbage dumps, behind places of worship or anywhere as long as it cannot be traced back to them, or God forbid, killing the infant. While the randy young casanovas go scot free without a care only to plant their seeds elsewhere, the poor unwed mother is left to fend for herself. What do we expect a young girl of 16 or 17 to do? She can't tell her parents, she's lucky if she can find a friend who can give her sound advice and she definitely can't fall back on society's help; no sir, not in our country.
There are organizations that care for such cases in Malaysia and they do a good job; but they are few and far between. These dedicated good souls help as much as they can but their resources are stretched. Moreover they treat the malady not the cause. The causes are as complex as the problem and beyond the scope of this article.
My purpose is to highlight the continued existence of this problem, to increase the awareness of the readers and to urge you to introspect; these may be your kids the next time around. Let us not fool ourselves into believing that it can happen to others and not to us.
Watch your kids as they grow, spend more time with them and less to whatever else preoccupies you now. Understand that at some time in their teens they will experience the effect of 'raging hormones' and it is your duty as parents to gently guide them through those years. Abdicate your responsibility now and you'll be around to regret it later.


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