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NGO: Welfare officers have unfettered powers to declare mums 'unfit'

The absence of clear procedures for declaring mothers “unfit” has empowered Welfare Department officers to frequently and arbitrarily take custody of babies from their mothers even in hospitals in Peninsular Malaysia.

Addressing a Malaysiakini report detailing the plight of Bajau Laut mothers losing or nearly losing their babies to adoption without consent after being admitted to Hospital Lahad Datu, child rights activist Hartini Zainudin said the practice was not unique to that hospital.

“The officers simply...

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