Uncertainty for girl without birth cert as school year nears

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Malaysia - Stranded without even a birth certificate, six-year-old Tan Yi Chin is in a predicament on whether she can even enrol in school next year.

Yi Chin's parents abandoned her at the babysitter's when she was just five months old.

Babysitter Kor Siew Kin, 57, said that the girl's parents had handed RM1,200 - two months' "nanny fees" - when they left their baby.

"They never returned after that and were nowhere to be found.

"We only knew the child as 'Jing Jing' when her parents left her on that day.

"We gave her the name 'Tan Yi Chin' when she enrolled in kindergarten," Kor said.

Kor hoped that the girl's parents will come forward after reading about Yi Chin's plight in the newspapers, so that Yi Chin can begin her formal education.

"We don't mind continuing to raise Yi Chin as we have been doing so for many years now.

"She has become part of our family," said the housewife.

Kor and husband Tan Kim Weng, 59, have four sons and a daughter, aged between 17 and 24, of their own. They all live in a house at Taman Impian with Tan's elderly mother.

Four of the couple's children are still studying.

Yi Chin said she was happy living in the house with the family who treated her as one of their own.

She showed reporters a family portrait that she had drawn, which was aptly titled "Family".

"I am looking forward to attending Year One next year," said the girl in Chinese.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Yi Chin's parents can call Tan at 012-4450352 or the Central Seberang Prai Welfare Department at 04-5382584.