Academic journal article Journal of Development Communication

Awareness of Kami Prihatin Campaign in the Media

Academic journal article Journal of Development Communication

Awareness of Kami Prihatin Campaign in the Media

Article excerpt

The excerpt above was taken from an article titled Mencari Jalan Penyelesaian (Looking for Solutions) from Utusan Malaysia Online. The author decisively stated that the current situation of social problems in the country has become increasingly worrying. In this context, the author was referring to the extremely alarming rise in the number of baby-dumping cases despite the efforts and actions taken by the government.

Baby-dumping and child abuse cases are often reported in the Malaysian media. It is at an extremely worrying state and vigorous actions have been taken to solve or at least to curb these unfortunate occurrences from happening in our society. The most horrifying fact is that child abuse happens even in broad daylight and in the public vicinity as what happened to Syafia Humairah Binti Sahari who was only three years old when she was physically abused by her mother's lover at Kampung Batu 30, Ulu Yam Lama, Batang Kali. According to the report in Utusan Malaysia (1) Online dated 27 February 2010, the innocent little girl died due to her injuries. It is heartbreaking to know that such tragedies happen even when the public is around to witness it, but did nothing about it. This fateful misfortune has forced an immediate cry of response from the public through the media to stop such cruelties towards children.

In the past year, the Royal Malaysia Police Force and the Social Welfare Department of Malaysia has reported the statistics for related cases in Utusan Malaysia as dated on the 7th of April 2010. Selangor contributes to the highest number of baby-dumping (105 cases) and child abuse (3,234 cases) in the last five (5) years since 2005. Besides Selangor, other states in Malaysia also face the same problem. Below are statistics pertaining to incidents of baby-dumping in Malaysia for the year 2010.

On the other hand, in a report from Mingguan Malaysia (2) dated 20 March 2011 Mumtaz Begum Mohd. Sultan, the Chief Senior Assistant Director of the Department of Social Welfare (JKM) presented a more exclusive statistic. She stated that throughout the year 2010, there were 43 babydumping cases as reported by PDRM. She stated her concern when there were 29 cases reported for the first three months of 2011, which is almost half of the number of cases reported in 2010. She added that nine of the babies were male and female respectively, and the other 11 bodies were unidentifiable as their private parts were devoured by animals.

Mumtaz Begum's worry was shared by Nor Aishah Osman, the Treasurer from Rumah Perlindungan Kanak-Kanak Orphan (a non-profit non-governmental organisation established in 2008 which aims to give every orphan and abandoned baby a chance to feel love and care in the security of a family). She added that there was also a unique trend or pattern in the statistics of baby-dumping cases; they will arise nine months after any huge festivities were celebrated in the country for example New Years Eve, Christmas and Valentine's Day. These festivities lead to late night parties, drug use, alcohol consumption, sexual activities and other unimaginable wrongdoings.

A good example of such a case involving sexual activities is the arrest of 96 people from the age of 18 to 40 years old in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur on 14 February 2011 (Valentine's Day) as reported by Utusan Malaysia dated 15 February 2011. The arrest by Selangor Religious Department (JAIS) and Wilayah Persekutuan Religious Department (JAWI) included those who were involved in drug abuse and also khalwat. This is the reality of today's youth and obviously those who were caught by these authorities are Malay (3) youths.

Hence, various strategies were planned and executed by the government, non-government agencies and other social groups in order to help solve or at least reduce the number of unwanted babies being abandoned and innocent children being abused by irresponsible human beings. These innocent babies were thrown away and most of them died because of their parents' sins and mistakes. …

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