A worshiper at a Senggarang, Johor surau was shocked to when he discovered a tiny baby girl wrapped in a towel at the building’s entrance when he arrived to pray early yesterday morning.
Images of the man, baby and surau have gone viral over social media over the last 24 hours.
Batu Pahat police report that the man heard the baby’s cries, and subsequently launched a police report after the 5:30am encounter. While the baby has since been sent to the nearby Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital for medical attention, she is reported to be in stable condition.
For lack of a better term, “baby dumping” has been a hot topic issue across the country. Last month, Deputy Women, Family and Community Minister Hannah Yeoh reported that Selangor state had over one quarter of the reported cases recorded since 2008, with no less than 254 babies being left by their parents, followed by Sabah (141) and Johor (127).
In the last ten years, a total of 1,075 cases have been recorded. An op-ed published over a year ago by Dr. John Theo in Malay Mail wrote that on average, 100 babies were being dumped nationwide that year, and only 50% of them would survive the ordeal. In 2014, the statistics were even more worrying, with 75 babies being left, and only 28 surviving.
To combat this, Yeoh has been encouraging young mothers to leave their newborns with the OrphanCare Foundation, where their baby can be properly looked after. She has stated that it is important for pregnant women to be aware of alternatives, so if they do not want to keep their child, a loving home can be sought. The foundation has several baby hatches throughout the country where you can leave your unwanted child in the care of nurses.
“Don’t kill the baby. Give it up for adoption,” she has said. Adding that the process of surrendering your child to OrphanCare is confidential, endorsed by the Women’s Ministry, and most importantly – no one will arrest you.
This article, Gentleman going to early morning prayers discovers abandoned baby on steps of prayer room, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. For more Coconuts stories, you can download our app, sign up for our newsletters, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.