Sometimes as a society are excellent of turning a blind eye. Our default is blaming and pointing fingers but after the hype dies down, we are still left with the same problem.
I was again shocked to hear of the lifeless body of a baby, still covered in afterbirth, found floating in Sungai Brunei. Sepantas kilat, images of this poor angel assaulted me on Whatsapp, together with angry insults to the parent who dared to make him/her, yet not willing to be responsible.
I’ve heard many mothers say it: you are not you.
Yes it happens.
Sometimes you are immature and make mistakes. Tell me as a pregnant mother, overwhelmed with hormonal emotions, one can even crave to eat tanah and jalan raya.
How about this mother, who we don’t know the story of, maybe with no money and no husband, possibly uneducated and at the end of her wits, experiencing postnatal depression. We don’t know anything about her and her situation and she is driven to the most extreme of “solutions”.
Life is hard. And it forces the most extreme of decisions. I am not defending the parents. I agree they need to be accountable for their actions – if not in this world then the next.
However, lets look into the mirror and discuss. How about us? We are also accountable:
1. Unavailability of formal sex education
Sure we recoil at this topic and say we are an Islamic country. Our stance is abstinence. But here is reality knocking on the door, oh it’s a dead baby in the river. Sorry, not everyone shares this view for abstinence.
Ok i get it. Sex before marriage sure is wrong. However sex education is a must.
2. Unavailability of choices for a desperate mother
A fortunate mother with no husband has a family to help. In this day and age, some people are estranged from family. Some families have no means to help, or simply the mother is unable to face her fate.
The government will fine her and probably she, unable to pay, faces jailtime. She will be shunned and her family pun malu.
Again sure she should be held accountable but what of the child?
The child is innocent. The baby needs a mother and a home.
There is no choice for this mother but because of that there is also no choice for this child.
We should give them a choice. Until we are able to give the mother choices, we as a society is accountable for all abandoned, lifeless babies in our lifetimes.
3. Safe Sanctuary
Why are desperate mothers unable to come, in a safe way, to a place that will welcome them without judgement? This place that will nurture and help them, and avail them of choices. A place that will help to defend them, if their desperation is caused by others – whether from rape, incest etc?
A place where the child will also have options – a loving home, parents who crave for their arrival, parents who are willing to give them anything?
Let us look into the mirror.
All of us are responsible and all of us are accountable for this loss of life.
This is an open letter to all mothers in desperate situations.
Let me open up my home – with what little i have in knowledge and resources, I will provide you sanctuary. You are wanted and your child is wanted.
Dont please don’t do anything drastic. There is a solution to everything. Get in touch with me and I will help.
If you know of a desperate mother please let her get in touch with me.