Thursday, August 12, 2010

No to capital punishment for baby abandonment - When will they learn that capital punishment is wrong and is no deterent ?

Dumping a baby, with the intention to kill  or cause grievous hurt to the baby, is certainly wrong...and would amount to  murder.  But, should we not be more interested in trying to find out the reasons behind this phenomenon. Was the pregnancy caused by reason of a rape or some other crime? Was it because of the lack of sex education? Was it because of the gender of the baby? Was it because of economic related reasons? Was it to escape communal/societal pressure in cases where mothers are unwed or 'too young'? More importantly, we really must give these mothers/parents who do not want to keep their babies the options as to where they can send their babies to, with possibility of a guarantee of anonymity and free from any criminal prosecution for 'baby abandonment'.
It is absurd for the government to be looking at just increasing the criminal penalty of the offence of abandonment of babies, that resulted in death.
PETALING JAYA: Capital punishment may not be the solution to baby dumping as proper education should be given to the young to prevent them from committing such a crime, said Women’s Aid Organi­sation president Ivy Josiah.

She said sex education and access to help for pregnant mothers would be preferable to punishing offenders with the death sentence.

“Show us the research and evidence that capital punishment will help prevent crime. Drug trafficking, which is punishable by death, is still going on,” she said yesterday.

She added that the death of a baby was a sad thing but society should also lament the “uncaring” environment that drives a mother to abandon her newborn baby.

The Cabinet has agreed with a proposal by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry that those who abandoned their babies resulting in death should be investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Commissioner Mohammad Sha’ani Abdullah said the Govern­ment should get more feedback from the public before deciding on the issue.

He said such a decision should not be made in haste because it was not one that can be resolved by using legislation.

MCA Public Services and Com­plaints Bureau chief Datuk Michael Chong said the baby dumping problem was due to lack of proper guidance for the young.

“Most cases involve young people. They are ashamed and afraid that their actions will result in rejection. So instead of seeking help, they chose to dump their babies.”

Chong added that measures such as counselling and family support were important to prevent people from abandoning their babies.

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