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Al Jazeera crew summoned for questioning after expose on baby-selling ring

Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim today said that the sale of babies in the country as not as simple as depicted in the Al Jazeera documentary and that authorities needed to verify the allegations in order to take action. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim today said that the sale of babies in the country as not as simple as depicted in the Al Jazeera documentary and that authorities needed to verify the allegations in order to take action. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 ― The police have called the production crew of Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera for questioning over its exclusive documentary last week exposing an alleged baby-selling syndicate in Malaysia.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim told a news conference in Putrajaya today that the sale of babies in the country as not as simple as depicted in the documentary and added that authorities needed to verify the allegations in order to take action.

“We do not deny that such cases have occurred before, but it is not rampant. It occurred three years ago; the culprits have been arrested and the babies have also been rescued.

“We need more information, such as on whether the babies were adopted or used for other purposes like sexual crimes, trade or sale of organs,” she was quoted saying in Putrajaya by The News Straits Times on its website.

Rohani also said other government agencies would be called in to help, including the National Registration Department (NRD) which is under the Home Ministry and the Foreign Ministry as the allegation involved an international news organisation.

Last Thursday, Al Jazeera screened a documentary claiming a thriving trade in Malaysia where babies were sold for between US$1,500 (RM6,750) and US$2,500 (RM11,250).

Its undercover reporters claimed that doctors and other government officials could even falsify birth certificates to list the adoptive parents as the infants’ biological parents.

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