23 Aug 2010

Abandoned baby numbers mount in Malaysia

6:02 am on 23 August 2010

Malaysia is grappling with a mounting problem of abandoned babies.

Sixty-five infants have been found so far this year. Many were dead by the time they were discovered.

The government fears that number will surpass previous totals - an average of 100 babies are found each year.

They are left in rubbish bins, on doorsteps and on the streets, prompting the government to consider treating cases as murder or attempted murder.

The latest abandoned baby, a newborn infant, was found dumped by a riverside, covered in a towel and a piece of cloth and stuffed into a bag.

Some observers point to internet pornography, bad parenting and an over-exposure to sexually liberal western culture.

The BBC reports that debate has also revived over sex education in schools in a country where having a child out of wedlock is seen as deeply shameful.

Social workers say this attitude simply drives many desperate women to abandon their babies.