Did a couple really mix their baby’s formula with liquid meth?

26 Feb 2024 03:04pm
A mother and her husband have been arrested by the police after mistakenly mixing their baby's formula milk with liquid methamphetamine. Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
A mother and her husband have been arrested by the police after mistakenly mixing their baby's formula milk with liquid methamphetamine. Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

The responsibility of a parent is to care for their child, but some may not be the perfect fit to be one.

What initially began as a genuine desire to mix their baby's formula milk evolved into a terrible mistake and a tragedy for the parent of a 16-month-old baby.

In a deeply troubling turn of events in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, a 34-year-old mother and her 40-year-old husband have been arrested by the police after mistakenly mixing their baby's formula milk with liquid methamphetamine.

Chronology of events

On February 19, in a flat located in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, a husband and wife, both under the influence of drugs, mistakenly mixed their baby's formula milk with liquid methamphetamine.

This reckless action nearly claimed the life of their baby and led to their subsequent arrest by the police.

Petaling Jaya Police Chief Assistant Commissioner Shahrulnizam Jaafar@Ismail revealed that the harrowing incident came to light when Kajang Hospital reported it on Feb 20.

The couple had sent their baby to stay with the grandmother in Seri Kembangan on the day of the incident. However, the grandmother noticed the baby's unusual behaviour - incessant crying, hyperactivity, and uncontrollable.

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Upon questioning by the grandmother, the mother confessed to accidentally mixing the baby's milk with methamphetamine, which belonged to her husband.

Arrest and Current Status

Following the alarming revelation, the police swiftly detained the husband and wife at their residence in Taman Medan. Both suspects tested positive for drugs during the initial urine screening.

Additionally, investigations revealed that the male suspect had prior involvement in drug-related cases.

The baby, fortunately, had been treated at Kajang Hospital and was discharged on Saturday.

Both suspects have been remanded for seven days under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 to facilitate further investigation into this distressing case.

Past cases

This shocking case raises serious concerns about child welfare, substance abuse, and the imperative need for community vigilance and intervention to prevent such distressing incidents from occurring in the future.

However, the unfortunate reality is that there are other reported cases of child neglect related to drug abuse by parents in the country over the years.

On Dec 12, 2023, a distressing case involving a 16-month-old baby boy who was allegedly administered methamphetamine by his mother and her boyfriend in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, unfolded in a series of deeply troubling events.

The case unfolded when the woman rushed her son to Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) after he suffered a seizure and convulsion, prompting concerns from the attending medical staff.

An attending doctor's routine tests revealed the infant's positive status for methamphetamine, leading to immediate action by authorities.

Simultaneously, the child's biological mother was arrested at Sultanah Aminah Hospital, and her boyfriend was apprehended along Jalan Salleh on the same day, with both individuals testing positive for methamphetamine.

The gravity of the situation prompted their official charging under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 on December 21, which pertains to endangering the physical or emotional well-being of a child.

Despite being offered bail, the couple failed to produce the required amount, resulting in their incarceration pending a hearing scheduled at the Johor Baru Session Court in January this year.

Additionally, the boyfriend allegedly disclosed to police that the infant was administered drugs to induce sleep, though he claimed ignorance of the potential consequences associated with such actions, shedding light on the motives behind the disturbing administration of methamphetamine to the child.

In April of last year, a seven-year-old boy in Kuala Lumpur was reported to be succumbing to addiction to syabu (ice) and methamphetamines known as ‘pil kuda’.

The boy, who lived with his parents who themselves are battling drug addiction. This distressing case is not isolated, as authorities have uncovered similar instances involving children, some as young as infants, who have unknowingly fallen victim to drug abuse due to their parents' addiction.

According to the National Anti-Drugs Agency (Nada) Director-General Sutekno Ahmad Belon, from 2019 to 2022, nine children ranging from infants to 12 years old were found to be addicted to drugs.

These cases predominantly stem from parental influence and the drug-infested environment in which these children are raised.

Plus, in Nov 2019, a man and his two children were arrested by the police in an operation to curb drug abuse activities in Kunak, Sabah.

The Kunak District Police said they were detained at an unnumbered house in Kampung Kunak Jaya. The raid was conducted following information regarding drug abuse activities at the house where the father lived with his two sons.

Initial urine screening tests found the father and children, aged between 20 and 50, tested positive for methamphetamine drugs.

Meanwhile, in Feb 2018, it was reported that Malaysian authorities uncovered distressing cases of children being exploited by drug-addicted parents for financial gain, with some mothers resorting to drugging their own children to fulfill their addiction-related needs.

In a joint operation involving Nada, police, and state Education and Welfare Departments, shocking instances emerged of children as young as two months old being neglected and manipulated by their drug-addicted parents.

During these rescue operations, harrowing scenes unfolded, including a two-month-old baby found to be exploited by its mother for monetary purposes.

Within just three months that year, the Welfare Department rescued 11 children, ranging from infants to 13-year-olds, who were victims of neglect and abuse by their drug-addicted parents.

Despite being rescued and placed under the care of relatives or temporary orders, some children tested positive for drugs, indicating the extent of their exposure and the challenges they confront as victims of parental drug abuse.