MALAYSIA: Teenage pregnancies in Malaysia have witnessed a concerning surge, culminating in the country’s youngest recorded case where a nine-year-old girl gave birth, as reported by Yayasan Ikhlas, a prominent NGO.
Zainur Rashid Zainuddin, the organization’s chairman, revealed that this distressing incident was the result of the girl being sexually assaulted by her own brother, who had been influenced by explicit online content.
Zainur emphasized that the gravity of this case, which unfolded three years ago in Penang, stemmed from the extremely tender age of the victim, according to a Sinar Harian report.
“In the past, cases of childbirth out of wedlock involved teenagers aged 17 to 18, but now it’s happening among girls from the ages of nine to 13.
“In Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu, there are cases of 11-year-old children. This is very concerning because the rate of teenagers involved in unauthorized childbirth has increased by 11 percent.
She noted that the incidence of teenage pregnancies has been on the rise in recent times.
According to Zainur, research indicated that one out of every ten teenagers in Malaysia has engaged in some form of sexual activity, with many cases involving boys aged 13 to 16 who were exposed to online pornography.
“Additional contributing factors include romantic relationships, personal inclinations, and familial conflicts. ”
He shared that he handled a case involving a high-achieving first-year student who became involved with a 14-year-old cousin.
“The situation came to light when the teenager was admitted to the hospital with stomach pain, only to discover that she was in labor.”
“The family, struggling economically, with the mother selling snacks and the father working double shifts, lacked the time required to attend to their child’s needs, which contributed to this unfortunate occurrence.”
Consequently, Zainur urged parents to actively engage by prioritizing open communication with their children and participating in shared activities such as sports, hiking, or traveling.
These remarks were made during the launch of the Reproductive Sexuality and Health Education Module (ReproAlert) in Putrajaya.
Developed by the Malaysian Association of Muslim Practitioners and Health (I-Medik), this module is designed to address contemporary sexual issues among children and adolescents, adhering to Islamic principles.
Established in 2009, Yayasan Ikhlas seeks to support orphans, the disabled, and the impoverished. Additionally, it contributes to disaster relief efforts and extends scholarships or incentives for educational pursuits or research within Malaysia.
It also provides assistance in disaster relief efforts and scholarships or incentives to individuals or groups for their studies or research in Malaysia.
According to a study of child marriage in Malaysia by Unicef, there are three common factors including family economic background, education, and SRH issues, such as sexual activity or pregnancy.
“Some participants (of the study) had premarital sex as young as 10 years old with either a boyfriend or a casual acquaintance.
“The majority of participants did not practise safe sex and were ignorant of the consequences of their sexual activities, despite claiming to have received advice and information from their peers,” it said.