Should a harsher penalty be imposed for baby-dumping?
by Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith
KUCHING: The issue came to light following Batu Gajah MP V Sivakumar’s call for Parliament to revise laws pertaining to baby-dumping when Women, Family and Community Development Ministry in Parliament said that the government’s approach in curbing baby dumping was ineffective.
Sivakumar had said that under the existing law, any individual found guilty of dumping a baby was only sentenced to a maximum 10 years’ jail.
“Why is it when we kill an adult human being, the punishment is death penalty but when we kill a baby, the penalty is so light? We need to think of a new approach in handling the baby dumping ill,” he told a press conference in the Parliament lobby.
The public here are all for harsher punishment for baby-dumping.
A quick survey by The Borneo Post yesterday revealed that all 10 people interviewed agreed that a stiffer penalty be introduced to discourage what most deemed as a heinous act.
A further ‘Yes or No’ question posted to another 20 subjects through various communication means polled 100 per cent agreement for the introduction of a harsher punishment.
Most of those interviewed want offenders to be given a longer jail term while some suggested that they be given the stroke of the rotan.
Subia Medan, a consumer sales executive with Maybank, agrees that the punishment should be revised, consistent with the punishment for murdering an adult.
“There is such a big difference when you compare the maximum 10 years’ imprisonment for child dumping and the mandatory death penalty imposed on those guilty of killing an adult human being.
“We hear about baby dumping cases all the time, I believe that the current penalty is not that harsh to scare people off,” she said when contacted.
Based on the rising number of baby dumping cases nationwide, dance teacher Diana Muring is all for Parliament to revise the law and introduce harsher punishment. In addition, she called on teachers, counsellors and religious teachers to highlight the bad consequences of premarital sex.
“Parents should also be more involved in their children’s upbringing and social life,” she added.
Thirty two-year-old entrepreneur Sandra Peter Roger suggested that offenders be given life imprisonment regardless of their age.