MP pushes for transparent, independent probe into babies in Sabah forcibly taken away


Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING (Sept 20): There should be a transparent and independent investigation into the shocking revelations of infants of stateless mothers in a Sabah hospital being forcibly taken away and given up for adoption, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

The special advisor to the Ministry of Health stressed that there should not be any compromise on the matter and thus, an independent investigation was important to get to the bottom of the matter and hold those responsible accountable regardless of their positions and standing.

He said while the Sabah Health Department had, on Saturday (Sept 16), lodged a police report denying allegations that babies were being snatched from the state’s public hospitals, the timing of the report and the speed of the ‘internal investigation’ being made a day after the news was reported, did raise a lot of questions and cast doubts on the independence of such an internal investigation.

“While I do not question the professionalism of many of the health workers within the Health Department, it is normal that many doubts are raised on the fairness of such an investigation, especially if it could possibly implicate themselves.

“That is why I welcome the Minister of Health’s stand in Parliament that there will not be a compromise on this matter, and she is open to an independent investigation to be done, even suggesting to personally look into the issue by talking to the staff and even patients involved to get to the bottom of the matter,” he added in a statement.

Yii stressed that such independent investigation must involve cross-ministry officers to properly address this systemic issue as it did not only involve the Ministry of Health, and they must also look into possibilities, whether it occurred in other hospitals to the most vulnerable, especially to the undocumented.

“We must look into the root of the issue, to prevent the possibility of a generation of stolen children in our hospitals across the country and more importantly, that no mother should go through such a tragic ordeal to be forcefully separated from and deprived of her newborn child,” he said.