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Responding to dead newborn found in MRT ex-NCMP moots idea of baby-drop centre again

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When she was an Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, Mrs Lina Chiam, the Chairman of Singapore People’s Party (SPP) had suggested that the Ministry of Social and Family Development consider the baby-drop centres to prevent infanticide, abandoned babies and vanishing mothers. She said:

“It is time to reverse our mindset about “baby drops” for unwanted babies of anonymous mothers and the whole notion of motherhood in Singapore where population growth is declining. The Government rejected the idea on the basis that it would indirectly encourage or sanction child abandonment or promiscuity, should now think and reconsider again the idea of “baby repositories” at strategic and convenient places throughout the island to prevent unwanted babies being left in rubbish dumps and other unsafe places.

The concept of baby drop boxes or hatches has worked well in countries like Germany, Italy, Hungary, Austria, South Africa, Russia and even Malaysia that have adopted it. One of the main reasons is the mother’s anonymity being maintained. In Germany, mothers can drop their babies through a chute at a specially designated place where the baby drops onto soft heated bed, triggering of an alarm at a nearby hospital.

We should provide safe guards for the afflicted women who are desperately in need of care and understanding and fear of being prosecuted. A Baby Drop scheme will have the potential to save the lives of babies who would otherwise be left to die. Each child should be given the right to live and prove themselves to this world. Olivia Lum, CEO of Hyflux is such a case.”

The Ministry of Social and Family Development did not accept her suggestion saying that it had studied other countries’ experiences and such schemes have reported mixed experiences, such as the downside of encouraging baby abandonment.
Responding to the news of the dead newborn baby found in Tampines MRT station, Mrs Chiam again floated the idea of baby-drop centres and asked the Government to consider such a scheme.
Saying that another young innocent life has been unnecessarily lost, Mrs Chiam writing in her Facebook said that Baby Drop Centres will prevent the recurrence of infanticide, abandoned babies and vanishing mothers
“It’s time to reverse our mindset about ‘baby drops’ for unwanted babies from anonymous mothers and the whole notion of motherhood in Singapore where population growth is declining,” she said.
“The government rejected the idea on the basis that it would indirectly encourage or sanction child abandonment or promiscuity, should now think and reconsider again, the idea of ‘baby repositories ‘ at strategic and convenient places throughout the island which could help and prevent unwanted babies from being thrown down rubbish chutes or left at unsafe places, such as rubbish dumps, toilets, MRT stations,” she added,
She noted that the concept of Baby-Drops or hatches have worked well in countries like Germany, Italy, Hungary, Austria, South Africa, Russia and even Malaysia. Mrs Chiam shared that in Germany, mothers can drop their babies through a chute at a specially designated place where the baby lands onto a soft heated bed, triggering off an alarm, connected to a nearby hospital.
“We should also provide safeguards and counselling for the afflicted women who are desperately in need of care and understanding for fear of being prosecuted,” she suggested.
Mrs Chiam feels that a baby drop scheme will have the potential to save the lives of babies who would otherwise be left to die through no fault of theirs.
“Each child is a gift from God and should be given the right to live,” she said.

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