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Archive for September, 2007

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Nuraina Samad has just posted a powerful message about the Nurin Alert on her blog. Do visit her at http://www.nursamad.blogspot.com/ and join us in calling for an AMBER Alert type system that is right for Malaysia. Malaysia Ku Gemilang!

If anyone wants to know how an Amber Alert works, see here . The system is set up by the Police so that they take full control when an alert is triggered. It needs to be issued once to mobilise law enforcement agencies and citizens groups. This is then followed by news broadcast on search in progress until the child is found, hopefully alive. Geographically, the government should consider how to apply the system for Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak. Also, should there be any hoax or false alarm, the person providing the false alert can be charged under the law. We can adapt it for Malaysia. Let’s go for it people!

Bloggers for Nurin Alert! 

Pass the word around to other bloggers. I’m keeping a running tally on who is blogging on the Amber/Nurin Alert. Let me know if you have and I will add you to the honour roll!  

Other Bloggers posting on the Amber Alert today:

Hotspots on Nurin Alert!

Alternative viewpoints on the Amber/Nurin Alert

12 Oct 2007

8 Oct 2007

6 Oct 2007

 5 Oct 2007

4 Oct 2007

1 Oct. 2007

30 Sept 2007

Earlier calls for an Amber Alert:

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I was thinking today that I was going to cool it with the Nurin Alert postings as there didn’t seem much else I could write about on this AMBER Alert system that I had chosen to focus on. What with the capture and remand of the fifth suspect as reported here and here, I’m thinking that maybe now the police can look into strategies for prevention etc. But I found a comment from a visitor who calls himself Mike about the NCIC and the “Be on the Look Out” programme in the US. I’ve actually earlier listed their website www.operationlookout.org on my Support Systems for Families with Missing Children blogroll as a resource for anyone interested to know more.

It so happens that I sent out several emails to women’s groups to invite them to view the postings I had made on this blog concerning the Nurin Alert. Mike’s comment is timely as he has pointed out the power of citizens groups. The US-based Operation Lookout National Centre for Missing Youth is an award winning non-profit organisation that provides services and referrals free of charge for families whose children disappear prior to age 18.    It was founded in 1984 by concerned citizens who wanted to make the public aware of the tragedy of missing children in the Northwest of the US and has become a multi-faceted child-search organization with the involvement of law enforcement, volunteers, staff and contributors. The centre claims an overall case resolve rate of 82% (as stated in website). It also runs a 24-hour HELPLINE to report a missing child, for information, search assistance, advice and sightings. They remain involved until the child is recovered. They also coordinate with law enforcement officers, provide legal and social services, distribute photos and posters, search assistance and victim support.

I’m really unsure if we have any such organization in Malaysia as my search in the internet did not show any results, possibly they do not have a website. I do know we have quite a number of NGOs who are working very hard to resolve issues revolving around women and children, and that matters on missing children are under the jurisdiction of the police, I stand to be corrected on this. I believe the call to be more inquisitive and nosey was aimed towards encouraging the involvement of concerned citizens. I’m very ignorant as to what’s out there in Malaysia as I’ve never really looked into this issue until Nurin. Possibly this is a matter for further discussion. Thanks again Mike.

In the mean time let us spare a thought for Jazimin and family as the NST report here shows how difficult it is for him and his wife to cope with all this undue media attention. It seems they present a great photo op for groups of every political and non-political affiliation (judging from photos published in the respective newspapers and websites) who are taking this opportunity to pose with them even though the photos show how haggard and clearly exhausted Nurin’s parents look. I am sure Jazimin and family are going through a very tough and heartbreaking time and will need support and counselling. Can’t we give this family some space to grieve in private? Must we have this relentless media coverage? Have a heart people!

News Update:       

Read what YM Raja Zarith Sofiah has to say about all the undue media attention here. Where do we draw the line? Give Jazimin and family a break. Respect their privacy and preserve their dignity. Let them mourn their little girl. May Allah be with them in their time of need. When the shock, the numbness and the anger leaves they will need to come to terms with their devastating loss. They have other children to protect and care for. Give them some space!    

She is with angels now

Strangers jostled and shoved to get a closer look at Nurin as her family put her to rest. Surely the funeral of a beloved daughter should have been allowed some dignity and privacy? (For full story click on title)

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There seems to be a big deal being made about getting Malaysians to be more nosey on the happenings in their community. Well and good! Maybe that may have some deterrent effect, that is if we have the time to notice when something unusual is amiss. I know that when I go to the Pasar Malam after work (It is there mostly for the convenience of office workers isn’t it?) all I am looking for is to find whatever I need at stalls that I am already familiar with and dash back home pronto! I hardly notice anything and anyone else really. Would I suspect something amiss if I saw a little girl being dragged to a white van? Not sure, unless the little girl is struggling and screaming her head off.  But it might happen so fast that I may not have the time to figure out whether the girl really was trying to get out of the man’s clutches. But I’ll admit I hate to be nosey! (Imagine an ex-journalist saying that!) In most cases people are nosey where they have no business being nosey but when being nosey really counts they are nowhere to be seen.

And if we are talking about what happens if a very young child is abducted, then this could happen at anytime and anyplace even in the child’s own home like when divorced  parents abduct their own child. How do we be nosey then? I’m not sure how I would react in such a situation. What if the abduction has already happened, what can we do to raise the alarm once we realise it? What we should be doing then is to focus on trying to get the child back alive right? But what if the abductor speeds off with your child before you could even get close enough to snatch him or her back, what would you do then? We have to agree that in such cases information communication technology can be the most powerful tool. It can be used to mobilise enforcement agency officers and the community to be on the lookout the very instant the alarm is raised. Can any number of nosey neighbours bring on the same impact? The involvement of the media is crucial in sounding off the alarm as this will mobilise members of the public as well as  the police, the highway patrol and other law enforcement agencies to man their stations. With every escape route blocked, there is no way the abductor can slip through.

In the US all manner of sophisticated technology is being roped in including putting up video cameras along highways that can zoom inside a motor vehicle and see even the button on the driver’s shirt from a distance of 8 miles. That’s the kind of technology the police in West Virginnia are using not only to monitor traffic but also to be used when looking out for a missing child should an Amber Alert go off. Read more on this here and here . I wonder did anything remotely close to that take place in the Nurin case? Not likely as news reports say that police only found out about the white van a few days after she went missing. My CSI and Criminal Minds education tells me that by then the abductors trail would have been cold and the child would already have been subjected to unspeakable horrors. Just ponder on this point for a moment! When the abductor(s)  manages to get a child out of the area, they will most likely take him or her elsewhere. Would they risk being seen with the child? What are the chances of nosey neighbours finding the child then?  Let’s get real here okay! We need a Nurin Alert! Haven’t we lost one child too many already?

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I’ve been blogging quite a bit about the Nurin Alert in the hope that the authorities will take notice. After all the aim of this blog is blogging on the big picture. Why blog? Because the internet is the easiest means to reach people anytime anywhere and the blog is where I can say it in my own words. I’m still new at this but am glad I started because I am learning each day. The blog is a work in progress but I am wiser for the experience.

Learning from experience is what I am getting at. Five years after California began using the Amber Alert child abduction warning system in 2002, state officials say it had achieved 100 per cent success rate with 131 missing children rescued alive. Not only that, the number of alerts issued gradually dropped over the years as the warning system may have had a deterrent effect.

Tuan IGP, what are we wating for? Let’s have our own Nurin Alert! Malaysia Boleh!

News source:

Amber Alert: 131 Children Saved  News10  30 July 2007 By Marcey Brightwell

Five years after enacting California’s Amber Alert child abduction warning system, state officials say statistics show the program has not only helped recover missing kids, it may actually be helping prevent child kidnappings in the first place. “I think it does have a deterrent effect,” said Commissioner Mike Brown of the California Highway Patrol.

Brown joined lawmakers and other law enforcement groups at the CHP Dispatch center in Rancho Cordova Monday to celebrate the five-year anniversary of California’s Amber Alert Law. Commissioner Brown said the law has a 100-percent success rate, leading to the safe recovery of 131 children. (click on title for full story)

Runners commemorate Amber Alert at 5   July 30, 2007 – 6:55PM

RANCHO CORDOVA — California’s Amber Alert was commemorated Monday, almost five years after the day it was first implemented. (Click on title for full story)

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News Alert!

Update!

The Star Online
Five nabbed – Woman released, four remanded for seven days
PETALING JAYA: Five people including a woman were arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jaziman.  The woman, however, was released several hours after her statement was recorded.   (For full story click on title)

Police Arrest Five To Assist In Nurin Murder Probe

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 (Bernama) — Police arrested five people, including a woman, in a raid on a shophouse in Shah Alam last night to assist their probe into the murder of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, 8. They are between 27 and 33 years old. Police also seized two cars and five mobile phones, Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee said in a statement Friday. He said the arrests were made following a public tip-off.  (For more, click on title)

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I’m not sure if our politicans have heard of the AMBER Alert but judging from this Bernama news story I don’t think so. Certainly sophisticated communication tools cannot resolve abduction and murder cases but if utilised in a coordinated manner with the help of the all powerful media as specified in the AMBER Alert, it has been proven that it can help rescue very young missing children within the first few hours. This increases the likelihood that the child will not be killed before the rescuers can get to him or her. YB, please understand the issues here before you answer the question. Unless this is another case of misreporting by the media. 

Inquisitive Attitude Important to Check Crime 

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 (Bernama) –Sophisticated communication technology tools cannot help resolve abduction and murder cases involving children if the society does not change its uncaring attitude, said Deputy Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. (For more click on title)

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Something must be of momentous importance for more than 1,000 lawyers and fellow champions of justice to be braving thirst, blazing sun and torrential downpours in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan to take the long walk for justice. Reading about the march in blogs, (where else?), my heart aches for little Nurin Jazlin. Who will ever march for her? Will justice ever be served to the perpertrator who inflicted upon her a horrific and untimely death? What is justice to her parents and family who must now face the future without her, shouldering the guilt of their one moment of carelessness? Who can tell them that it’s all going to be okay? Will any march to any Palace of Justice ever bring her back? Justice can never replace Nurin.

When the shock wears off, when the morbid fascination with details of her brutal death is satiated and when public attention turns to the newest sensation, who will care about Nurin? Will her case be filed under the pile of unsolved crimes? For Nurin, justice can only be served if we learn something from her death. If we become better people and a better society. She does not need us to march for her. Would anyone want to remember her? Are we going to politicise her death? Please don’t do that! How do we honour her memory? Adopt the Nurin Alert and remember her! Honour her memory! May Allah save our souls.

My previous blogs on the Nurin Alert:

Calling on Women’s Groups to Discuss the Nurin Alert!

Excuse Me, Now Do You Understand Why We Need A Nurin Alert?

Isn’t It About Time For A Nurin Alert?

A Nurin Alert As Her Lasting Legacy

Pak Lah! Don’t You Forget Nurin!

Let’s Have A Nurin Alert!

Where was the Nurin Alert then?

Shut up and do something about it

The Amber Plan

The Amber Alert is a critical missing child response program that utilizes the resources of law enforcement and media to notify the public when children are kidnapped by predators. Although the scope of the Amber Alert varies, the criteria for activation are fairly consistent. Whether it is a local, regional or statewide program, law enforcement activates an Amber Alert by notifying broadcast media with relevant identifying and case information when circumstances meets the following criteria:

  • The missing child is of a pre-determined age;

  • The law enforcement agency believes the child has been kidnapped;

  • The agency believes the missing child is under threat of serious bodily harm or death.

Once they receive the Amber Alert radio and television stations interrupt regularly scheduled programming to notify the public that a child has been kidnapped. Because 95% of all people driving in their cars listen to the radio, this is an extremely effective way of providing descriptions of the child, the kidnapper, vehicles or accomplices.

Besides turning the public into instant investigators when children are kidnapped, benefits of the Amber Alert include:

  • It is free;

  • It encourages participation between natural adversaries, law enforcement and media by drawing on their inherent strengths;

  • It promotes accountability by creating the foundation of a comprehensive missing child protocol;

  • It is an effective time critical response to kidnappers who can disappear with children at the rate of a mile per minute;

  • It sends a powerful message to wanna-be kidnappers that this is a community that cares about and protects children;

  • It saves lives.

Initially prompted by citizen concerns following the tragic 1996 kidnapping and murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas the concept has been embraced by all segments of society. A sampling of the pro-active, diversified citizens inspired to implement variations on the Amber Alert include:

  • Mrs. Robin Trumbull, a young mother with a strong social conscience created the statewide Michigan Amber Alert after hearing about it at a KlaasKids Foundation sponsored town hall meeting.

  • To give meaning to the death of their kidnapped daughter Traci, Chris and Terry Conrad initiated the localized Corcoran, California TRACI Alert.

  • To create a legacy in the name of her kidnapped daughter, Colleen Nick inspired the Arkansas’ statewide Morgan Nick Alert.

  • A sense of duty drove Officer John Goad of the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons to begin the regional NC CAN Alert System.

Because progress in the effort to recover kidnapped children is glacial, great ideas like the Amber Alert should be enthusiastically embraced, supported and promoted whenever possible. Had the Amber Alert existed when Polly was kidnapped in 1993, she might very well be alive today. Although law enforcement had her killer in their custody within sixty minutes of the crime, they helped him pull his car out of a ditch instead of arrest him because they were unaware that a child had been kidnapped.

Our goal is to protect every child with one of the most brilliant ideas yet devised in the battle to recover kidnapped children. So, in order to remain current we encourage law enforcement agencies, broadcast media and the public to provide updated information that we may include in our comparative analysis of the Amber Alert.

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