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Thursday June 24, 2010

Report of nine-year-old giving birth under probe

GEORGE TOWN: The authorities are investigating a vernacular news­paper report that a Year Three school­­­­girl gave birth to a baby boy after she allegedly had an affair with her 14-year-old neighbour.

State Health, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said he was shocked to read the news in a Chinese daily yesterday.

“I have since alerted all departments concerned under my portfolio to investigate the matter. This is a very serious matter. Having sexual intercourse with a minor is considered statutory rape,” he said.

Phee added that they only had sketchy reports with not much information, adding that his office had referred the matter to the police.

“Any medical practitioner who delivered the baby boy must alert the state Health Depart­ment as the mother is said to be a nine-year-old. Those hiding information or abetting the crime will be charged. I appeal to those with information to come forward,” he said.

Penang deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said police had not received any report on the case.

State Education Department director Ibrahim Mohamad said he had checked with all the school principals and they claimed there was no such case in their schools.

“But I have been informed by my officer that there is a schoolgirl who had taken numerous MCs (medical certificates) before dropping out of school recently. I cannot ascertain whether the case is related. We will, how­ever, investigate the matter,” he said.

According to the Chinese daily, the girl, who comes from a broken home, gave birth at a private hospital some time last month. The girl, the paper claimed, seemed mature for her age as she was big compared with other girls of her age.

The report claimed that the boy’s affair with the girl started when she was eight.

The baby is said to be taken care of by the girl’s grandmother, who disclosed the case to a non-governmental organisation that alerted the paper about it.

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