The award-winning current affairs programme 101 East
uncovered the disturbing trade in Malaysia that exposed a network of traffickers, doctors and government officials who are all profiting from the most susceptible and defenseless women and children. The documentary, Malaysia: Babies for Sale
, aired on the international TV network at 6.30am today.
Image: Free Malaysia Today
Here are the shocking findings of this covert reporter:
- Babies are being traded like commodities in Malaysia.
- Price is determined by the babies’ race, skin colour, gender and weight.
- Corrupt doctors and government officials are fabricating birth documents.
- The critics blame Malaysia’s complex adoption laws for creating the underground market and targeting couples who can’t have their own child.
During the four-month long investigation, Chan Tau Chou (101 East
journalist) revealed just how easy it is to buy a baby in Malaysia, where traffickers offer potential customers catalogues containing images of pregnant women to choose from. “Legal adoption can take years in Malaysia and it’s a complicated process,” Chan mentioned. Chan said the lack of proper checks on the buyers and whether they make good parents meant the best interests of the child are never considered in such transactions.
Image: The Malay Mail
Boys, and usually fair-skinned, fetch the highest price. It’s like as though you can choose your baby online, just like a “supermarket”. The babies are said to be priced between US$1,500 (RM6,750) and US$2,500 (RM11,250), which makes it a profitable trade.
Posing as potential baby purchasers, the Al Jazeera team, during their investigation, discovered that traffickers in Malaysia housed as many as 78 pregnant Indonesian women. The high demand for babies has led some sex workers to sell their babies instead of having abortions if they get pregnant. “While some children may end up in good homes, others may be groomed for pedophile rings or exploited by begging syndicates,” the Al Jazeera team added.
Al Jazeera will air repeats of the programme today (Friday Nov 25) at 5.30pm, Saturday (Nov 26) at 11.30am, Monday (Nov 28) at 12.30am, and on the same day again at 1.30pm.