IGP rejects portrayal of Malaysia as baby-selling hub

File picture shows a house in Kampung Nahkoda, Selayang, where a baby for sale syndicate allegedly had operated for two years when authorities moved in. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
File picture shows a house in Kampung Nahkoda, Selayang, where a baby for sale syndicate allegedly had operated for two years when authorities moved in. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — An Al Jazeera documentary on baby-selling syndicates unfairly depicts the problem as rampant in Malaysia, according to the Inspector-General of Police.

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar conceded that such baby-selling rings were present locally, but denied that the extent was as severe as depicted in the 101 East programme aired this week.

“It cannot be denied that baby selling occurs in Malaysia, but it is not as easy as shown in the video, because the Royal Malaysia Police constantly monitors for such activities.

“This effort was enhanced in 2008 with the formation of the D7C ATIPSOM unit as well as the D11 division to investigate sexual crimes,” he said in a statement.

The IGP also rejected claims that the police did not vigorously pursue baby-sellers, and highlighted  six arrests from 2010 including doctors and nurses.

The police also rescued four babies in separate operations in 2014 and 2015 among those freed from people smugglers, he added.

“Clearly, the police regularly takes firm action and cooperates closely with ministries and government agencies to ensure trafficking activities and any other forms of exploitation of women and children are given priority,” he said.

Khalid added that the police will probe the claims made in the documentary and take action where necessary.

In the episode aired this week, Al Jazeera journalist Chan Tau Chou exposed the ease with which babies could allegedly be purchased in Malaysia.

The show also alleged that traffickers offered catalogues of pregnant women for customers to browse when shopping for babies.

Posing as potential baby buyers, the Al Jazeera team discovered that traffickers in Malaysia housed as many as 78 pregnant Indonesian women.

The team also gathered video evidence of doctors who openly offer to help procure falsified birth documents for babies who have been bought, allegedly with the help of officials working in the National Registration Department.

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