101 East’s team also go undercover to gather video evidence of doctors who openly offer to help get falsified birth documents for babies who have been bought, with the help of officials working in the government’s National Registration Department.
The high demand for babies has resulted in some sex workers selling babies instead of having abortions if they get pregnant. While some children may end up in good homes, others may be groomed for paedophile rings or exploited by begging syndicates.
“There are no proper checks on the buyers and whether they make good parents,” says Chan. “The best interests of the child are never considered in such transactions.”
In this must-watch exclusive, 101 East exposes the people making a profit from baby selling in Malaysia.
101 East reporter Chan Tau Chou goes undercover to expose the sinister trade in Malaysia, and discovers a network of traffickers, doctors and government officials profiting from the most vulnerable women and children.
In this four-month investigation, Chan discovered just how easy it is to buy a baby in Malaysia, where traffickers offer potential customers catalogues of pregnant women to choose from.
“Legal adoption can take years in Malaysia, and it’s a complicated process,” Chan says. “Many people turn to traffickers to buy babies. And then they pay doctors and government officials to falsify birth documents, so that no one knows the baby is not theirs.”
A baby’s price is determined by race, skin colour, gender and weight. Fair-skinned boys fetch the highest price. “You can choose your baby online,” says Hartini Zainudin, a child rights activist. “It’s like a supermarket.”
The Al Jazeera team posing as potential baby buyers discover that a trafficker in Malaysia, who advertises babies online, is housing 78 pregnant Indonesian women. With babies priced between $1500 and $2500 dollars, this is a lucrative business. She offers a photo catalogue of pregnant women for potential buyers to choose from.