Illegal baby-selling in Malaysia a 'Lucrative Business' for Corrupt Officials
"Boss, once the birth certificate is in your hands already, okay. That is all. Keep quiet."
Al Jazeera’s recent investigative reporting team 101 East went undercover for 4 months to expose a vast network of babies for sale in Malaysia. What they uncovered will shock you. Not only were there baby traffickers involved, but even the likes of high ranking officials, government officials and doctors have all thrown away their morals, by making illegal baby-selling a lucrative business.
Paid to Keep Their Mouth Shut
Not only did they discover how easy it was to purchase a baby in Malaysia, they also uncovered how corrupted officials in relevant departments in within Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara itself, are involved. Everyone is paid off to do the deed and to keep their mouth shut.
“Already done so many. Nothing to worry about…”
“Boss, once the birth certificate is in your hands already, okay. That is all. Keep quiet.”
There are places housing these women: migrant workers who are pregnant, women with unwanted pregnancies. Traffickers offer potential customers catalogues containing photos of pregnant women for you to choose from.
You can “shop online” for babies like you would buy a thing. You can even customise your baby by race, skin colour and weight. The price of these babies would vary accordingly. For example a fair skin child would fetch a higher price, and Chinese babies are also harder to come by.
Babies for sale are priced between US$1,500 (RM6,600) and US$2,500 (RM11,000). You can see why selling babies is a lucrative business.
There was even a family run group of clinics who have been selling babies from another generation. It has since been passed down as a family business. They already have everything worked out: who to bribe, who to go to, to falsify birth documents. They have done so for years, their services known by word of mouth, and they aren’t even shy about admitting it.
With Demand, Comes Supply
Legal adoption processes costs a lot of money, is long and complex. This is why many people turn to traffickers when looking for babies for sale. Common stigmas about adoptive parents don’t help either.
The norm is all married couple should reproduce or should want to reproduce. Therefore childlessness is not considered a norm, whether voluntary or not. In a society that values fertility, often times parents who face fertility problems are put down. Adoption is always a last resort and done quietly (in my opinion). Also they always want babies, not full grown children. Whether a conscious decision or not, they will also choose the best fit to adopt: race, looks and similarity.
Herein lies the problem, why wait when you can have it now. Where there is demand, there will always be supply. The video shows just how easy it is to customise your own baby for the right amount of money. Sex traffickers can also find willing sex workers to have your baby – you even have the option to bed her yourself if you so wish, that way the baby is actually half yours. Sex workers no longer need to abort their babies, because they can sell them to get more money.
Tidak Apa Attitude
One can try and imagine a happy ending for all these unwanted babies. These people THINK they are helping these women and saving the lives of many babies. It is a sick twisted way of thinking themselves a saviours of any kind.
Sure many of these newborns may end up with good parents — genuine couples who long for children of their own. Once the money is transacted, the birth certificate in hand the deed is done, no questions asked. There are no checks made on these parents.
What if these babies for sale were “bought” to be exploited? To be brought up in begging syndicate rings, or even child sex traffickers? What would become of that child? No one will ever know.