PETALING JAYA — Doctors admitting to selling babies and procuring falsified documents have committed criminal acts in addition to breaching their ethical commitments, said former Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan.
“It is unbelievable that these doctors would take such risks and put their careers and practices in jeopardy by engaging in fraudulent and criminal activities,” he said.
“They should be investigated and if the allegations are indeed true, these doctors must have their licences revoked and struck off the register.”
An Al Jazeera report yesterday revealed widespread trafficking of babies in the country through syndicates and willing officials from the National Registration Department (NRD) furnishing false birth certificates.
At least three doctors were recorded via hidden camera by the network’s journalists boasting they could supply babies on demand and the accompanying paperwork.
Dr Tharmaseelan said despite the doctors involved claiming it was fool proof and that no one would find out, such cases were in fact very easy to detect.
“There are too many opportunities to get caught … medical personnel, relatives, friends and anyone along the supply chain could at any point report that a couple had bought a baby,” he said.
“Also a simple DNA test will quickly and conclusively prove if the child is related to the parents or not.”
Dr Tharmaseelan also said the report had highlighted the main factors behind the underground trade and urged the government to take serious action.
“Besides the usual willingness to accept money to turn a blind eye or comply with such activities, the root causes driving the industry must be addressed,” he said.
“If anything the revelations build a clear case to urgently reform and liberalise the way adoptions are done in the country.”
One doctor was recorded as saying: “In Malaysia can do everything, money can do anything. Malaysia is the second most corrupt country.”
Another bragged claiming they had eight NRD officers on their payroll.
“We have eight whom we pay, so we will tell you which department to get the documents from. If they reject the request … we will just pay them RM1,000 or RM2,000 and it will be done.”
Malaysian Medical Council chairman Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the case had caught the attention of the council and was being investigated by the Health Ministry.
“We are aware of the report and allegations and the ministry will take the necessary action against those found guilty,” he said adding that the Private Medical Practice Control Unit was investigating the claims.
The sickening trade exposed by Al Jazeera’s East 101 programme yesterday revealed:
l Easy access to birth certificates and
l Price of babies based on several factors — race, skin colour, gender, weight.
Fair boys fetch highest price.
l Babies sold like any other merchandise
through the internet and social media
with prospective buyers picking through
options “like at supermarket”.
l One syndicate, operating with a pool of
78 Indonesian women, sold babies be
tween RM6,600 and RM11,000 while
others went as high as RM30,000 in
l Some babies are sourced from sex
workers who decide to sell their child
instead of aborting.
l Most babies find good homes but lack
of background checks or regulation
means some end up with paedophile
rings or begging syndicates.
The National Registration Department refused to comment over the matter.