Johor exco Liow Cai Tung has expressed concern over the state recording the highest number of baby dumping cases in the country this year.
Citing figures obtained from the police and Johor Welfare Department, Liow said in a statement today that there have been 13 baby-dumping cases in the state as of July.
Of these, Johor Bahru recorded the highest number, followed by Batu Pahat and Kulai, she added.
The figure does not include babies found dead, as these figures are not reported to the Welfare Department.
“Johor takes a serious view of the statistics which show the highest number of baby-dumping cases occurred in this state.
“Awareness programmes on social issues must continue as these efforts will reduce the number of baby dumping cases.
“Youths must be given accurate information to curb this problem, as all efforts begin with education," said the state exco for tourism, women, family and community development.
Liow (photo) added that state programmes – such as the Diriku Permata Berharga (Dermaga) programme by the Darul Takzim Family Development Foundation (YPKDT) – are aimed at educating communities on the importance of reproductive health and the implications of premarital sex.
Johor allocated RM100,000 in its 2019 budget for the programme to be conducted in 12 schools, she added.
"Besides this, the Generasi Ku Sayang programme, established in Johor in 2014 to help teenagers pregnant out of wedlock to avoid incidents of mother and child deaths, have had 109 trainees... between the ages 16 to 20 years.
"There are seven trainees at GKS centres in the state this year."
Liow urged teenagers facing a similar predicament to call the 24-hour Talian Kasih (15999) of the welfare department for help.
"Abandoning the baby is not the solution. Instead, it will only endanger the baby’s life and could result in its death," she added.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail revealed last month that seven out of 10 newborn babies found abandoned in Malaysia ended up dead.
Citing police statistics, Wan Azizah called for urgency in dealing with the matter.
She said that unwanted and teenage pregnancies were among the causes of baby-dumping.
Bernama reported earlier this year that 18,000 teenagers get pregnant each year in the country, an average of 50 a day nationwide.