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Mounting hospital bills lead to stateless mum-baby murder-suicide

This is Part 3 of a six-part Malaysia Day series on the issue of statelessness in the country.

On Feb 1, 2020, a teen mother paced the floor of Lahad Datu Hospital.

Her five-month-old baby had been hospitalised for 11 days for a bacterial infection and her indigenous Bajau Laut family could not afford the hospital bills.

Even though they were natives of the state, they did not have documentation to prove citizenship and could not access subsidised healthcare, even in public hospitals.

On that day, the hospital bill amounted to more than RM3,000, and bill collectors were demanding payment.

Distressed, the young mother cradled her infant, freshly off the ventilator. She started pacing the hospital floor and told hospital staff she was heading to the toilet.

Not long after, the mother and her baby were found dead...

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