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Archive for November, 2007

focus1210.jpgHas it been 100 days already since Nurin went missing? I hadn’t realised that until I finally got home and read Jasni’s blog. We had just touched base earlier with Nuraina to meet with four high ranking officials from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to discuss the NURIN Alert. The meeting had been planned for sometime and I’m sure you will read more about it in Jasni’s and Nuraina’s blogs as well as in the next issue of TELL magazine.  I wish to extend my sincerest appreciation to Cik Meme Zainal Rashid, the Director-General of the Social Welfare Department for inviting the Citizens’ For Nurin Alert (CFNA) to meet with her team to discuss how the NURIN Alert could be incorporated into the Child Protection Policy. It was a fruitful meeting and we managed to discuss various aspects of the existing systems that would need to be better coordinated in order for the NURIN Alert to be implemented.

During the meeting it was clear that the Ministry officials had been waiting for us and were keen to hear our views and they too agreed many of the shortcomings in the system that had been made obvious in the search for Nurin Jazlin Jazimin during those crucial days. This included the response from the police, the media’s role and the support given to parents like Jazimin who had to shoulder the burden of finding Nurin alone in those first few days before media attention got the public and police involved. Listening to Jasni having to re-live those painful moments of his younger brother’s lone crusade to find his missing child made us think of Nurin and what she must have suffered through those 28 days. The officials who were listening quietly as Jasni spoke were visibly moved. 

This was no discussion about some dry policy. It was not a heated discussion to lay blame on anyone. This was no show of displeasure against the government. What they were listening to was a cry from the heart of an uncle who lost his beloved niece in a most brutal way. This was a man who saw his brother’s anguish, shared in his pain and lent him his quiet strength to cushion the younger man from the crushing blow of discovering Nurin’s crumpled and broken body.   Jasni is softspoken with a calm and soothing voice, yet his message was so powerful that it could not be ignored. Nurin would have been alive today if we had all done our part to find her!

Even though she was not with us in that room, we felt her presence. That sweet smiling child was there with us as we spoke of how important it was to have this system in place and why we had named it after her. No one disagreed with us. Indeed there were positive signs of changes had already been put in place since Nurin. The police are now required to act immediately when there is a report of a missing child. The media too are being asked to come out with their role in the Child Protection Police. Rakancop was discussed as a viable channel that could be explored as a means to alert the public when cases of missing children are reported. The role of Citizens for Nurin Alert was also discussed. I believe Jasni will have more information on that soon.

All said and done, it was a good meeting that ended on a warm note. I believe we understood each other better. It was agreed that the NURIN Alert (should the authorities decide to use this name) would be of great help to the police as the community would be mobilised to be on the look out. Not only will this reduce the burden of finding the missing child from the parents and the police, it will also get the community involved in a more coordinated manner. With better coordination, we agreed that we would stand a better chance of finding a missing child alive. The next step would be for the Ministry to spell out the details to be incorporated into the Child Protection Policy and to discuss it’s implementation with the stakeholders concerned. The meeting was adjourned with mutual appreciation of each other’s role in making NURIN Alert a positive contribution towards the safety and protection of children in Malaysia. 

And all this because of Nurin. I am sure she knows we did not speak her name in vain today.

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Media circus ‘will help’ in search for missing Maddy

By Tim Walsh
Wednesday November 28 2007

THE VAST media coverage of the Madeleine McCann case could be the key to finding her and should not be curbed for fear of hampering the search, a leading child abduction expert said yesterday.

Ernie Allen, president of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States, spoke out after Portugal’s Attorney General said the publicity may have harmed the little girl’s chances of being found alive.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry, said they welcomed the expert opinion.

In an interview with a Portuguese current affairs magazine, Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro suggested the attention on the four-year-old’s disappearance would have turned her into a liability if abducted.

“If it was a kidnap, it’s normal that the kidnapper has killed her,” he told ‘Visao’. “There’s a greater possibility of the girl being dead than alive.”

But Mr Allen said: “From our 25 years of experience in working thousands of these kinds of cases, we have found that media and public awareness are often the key to finding the child.

“It is vital to mobilise the eyes and ears of the public.”

The benefits of publicity were behind the adoption in the UK, France, Greece and other countries of a US-style “Amber Alert” programme, a system in which media are notified of child abductions, said Mr Allen.

Recovery

He said: “Reaching out to the public with key information is vital. Time is the enemy in the search for a missing child. Every hour, every day that passes, the statistical probability of a safe recovery grows a little less.

“However, there are countless examples of children found safely after months and even years.”

Mr Allen, who met Madeleine’s father, Gerry McCann, earlier this year, pointed to one high-profile example of an abducted child being recovered in the United States.

Elizabeth Smart, abducted at knife-point from her Salt Lake City home in 2002, was recovered nine months later because two women had seen a profile of her case on ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and recognised an artist’s impression of the abductor.

The primary reason for the abduction of a child by a non-family member is sexual, said Mr Allen. However, for very young children, like Madeleine McCann, there are a variety of other possible reasons, including being abducted to keep and raise or for illegal adoption.

The expert said young children, such as Madeleine, can be easily manipulated so her abductor could be “hiding in plain sight” where an alert citizen might see something.

Mr Allen said: “Media not only help the search for the child, but media coverage is the essential tool for generating that key lead.”

– The Independent

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Dance video from Dorairaj Bhagawan’s 1978 Kannada film ‘Operation Diamond Rocket’. It opens on a dance floor with flashing lights and rotating chandeliers. Girls thrash about to braying trumpets and jazzy beats. Enter Kannada superstar Rajkumar in white bellbottoms, waistcoat and red bowtie. He sings:

If you come today, it’s too early
If you come tomorrow, it’s too late
You pick the time, tick tick tick tick tick tick darling!

Did you say morning? No no it’s not good!
Did you say evening? No no it’s too bad!
Did you say noon? No no it’s not the time!
Hey, what did you say, nothing? Oh it’s all right!
You pick the time, tick tick tick tick tick tick darling!

Million times beating my heart
Million dreams haunt my heart
Million memories squeeze my heart
Million desires stinging my heart
You pick the time, tick tick tick tick tick tick darling!

Lyric : Chi UdayaShankar (source here)
Music : GK Venkatesh
Voice : RajKumar

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Imitators or the real thing, which is funnier? I’m too sad to blog today but I think my readers deserve a good dose of strong medicine to heal the pain of recent events in our nation’s history. Just remind yourself that if we think we got it bad, these videoclips just might make you think again! I replaced the third videoclip with a funnier one. And I thought ZAM was bad. Caution: Sense of humor needed!  

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tellcovernov.jpgIf you haven’t got your issue of TELL magazine you better get one fast. In fact buy several and present them as gifts for your friends and family. I’d say the magazine will make great stocking stuffers for Christmas! This time I am blogging about it with some authority because I got my two copies courtesy of Kak Ton of Tok Mommy  If you are curious who Tembam is, my cover has been blown in TELL magazine.  Sorry no pix! For the ladies, there is really a larger than life pix of Rocky that is worthy of being framed. He is my new poster boy. In this issue Nuraina explains the NURIN Alert system and how it can be used to save missing children alive if we can implement it effectively in Malaysia. The Roundtable with Datuk Seri Shahrizat was an eye opener indeed as the dialogue showed how little we know of the agony that families go through when their child goes missing.  We owe Nurin a huge debt of gratitude for unveiling this shortcoming in the current system of handling missing children.  

This issue of TELL is truly a visual treat as the magazine’s elegant layout is tastefully done with some beautiful photos that truly capture the moment and illustrative graphics that draw interest. My favourite is the photo of the FRU lined up along the sidewalk of Putrajaya on page 36. I always thought things like that happen only in militant foreign nations! Not in my beloved Malaysia please! Also loved the portrait gallery of Malaysian faces by Steven Lee. Beautiful images captured artistically. My favourites have got to be Bernard Chandran, Tunku Eana and twins, Caitlin and Samantha. Breathtaking!

If you noticed the cover of TELL magazine is actually a double-page spread and the graphics used is quite arresting as it tells a tragic story of the many children still missing around the world. Are they alive or dead? Are they calling out to us to save them? Will they know that we hear them and are trying our best to find them alive? I pray we will find them.

In the article “Life Since Nurin’s Death” on Nurin’s family, Mustapha Mahidin writes: “The nightmare this family went through during the whole episode is manifold. Numero uno is of course the loss of Nurin whom both Jazimin and wife Norazian Bistaman had paid special attention to because of her asthma and impaired kidney. Apart from regular medication whic was always on standby, Nurin had to go for regular medical checks every six months. ‘And they dare say that I was irresponsible and did not take good care of my daughter! I had always been alert,” retorts a dismayed Jazimin. Contemplating the horrors Nurin actually went through and the family’s experience at the mortuary is better left unsaid.”

And that is what motivate us in Citizens for Nurin Alert to keep working towards the setting up of this system. As Jasni blogged here:

Earlier this week we had our Citizens for Nurin Alert (“CFNA”) Committee Meeting. As just like other Committee Meetings, ours had several agendas tabled and deliberated as well. While I don’t plan to disclose the whole minutes of the proceedings to the public at this juncture, I would think furnishing the gist of the meeting would be informative especially to all those who have registered as CFNA friends.

First, the composition of the Committee. After working for slightly more than a month “designationless”, the Committee Members have now been given suitably designations each. We now have a Chair, a Deputy Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer and various exco members. Soon, the Committee would also be expanded to include representatives from the Chinese and Indian communities as well as for the Sabah/Sarawak/Labuan region.

The Committee’s full list would be disclosed upon it being finalised by the Committee in their next sitting. We have also decided to encourage communication from among CFNA members and with the Committee via a forum like network. Due to logistical constraints, the idea to hold a “general meeting” to host all CFNA members has been shelved.The www.nurinalert.org will be brought to life soon. Its basic contents have been agreed upon and it is now just a matter of time for the “construction” of the website to be completed. Reviews of the achievements made so far were also made, most of them are already in public knowledge, i.e. the submission of the draft paper on Nurin Alert, the coverage it got from the mass media, including TV, talk sessions etc.

Coming up next will be meetings after meetings with the various parties to push for the adoption of Nurin Alert, including meetings planned with an organisation who has stated its interest to help set up a pilot Nurin Alert Centre. More publicity campaigns are in store as well. Publicity after publicity, CFNA now has no alternative other than continually working towards the adoption of Nurin Alert mechanism without further ado.

March on Nurin Alert! March On!

Jasni AJ

If you cannot find TELL magazine anywhere contact:
TELL MEDIA SDN BHD,
1, Jalan SS 7/10, Kelana Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
TEL: 03-7873 7313
FAX: 03-7873 8545
or email:
michelle@tell.com.my

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nurin.JPGThis morning I bought the latest issue of Mastika from the mamak shop after Jasni alerted readers on his blog here. Not normally on my reading list, (Aiyaah ‘cos got pix of ghosts and worms on cover maa..!!!) I bought it because I wanted to read articles on Nurin. The article “Bukan Kali Pertama” is alarming because the parents of previous victims of the Kampung Baru molester shared their experience in finding their missing children. Fortunately the two girls were found alive, one later the same day and another on the following day. Imagine those terrifying hours of not knowing where your child is. Now every parent will fear another Nurin should, God forbid, their child go missing. In another article “Saya tidak boleh lelapkan mata”, Nurin’s dad Jazimin Abdul Jalil writes: “Ada orang telefon minta saya cari pembunuh arwah Nurin sampai dapat. Betul, dulu semasa hilang, saya memang bertungkus lumus mencari arwah. Tetapi sekarang, kalau orang suruh saya cari pembunuh Nurin, itu bukan lagi kerja saya. Itu kerja polis.”  

nurincover1.jpgDon’t tell me it is not kerja polis to help find a missing child? Should parents have to suffer this alone and have to find their missing child all by themselves? The chances of an abducted child being found alive decreases with each passing hour. There is more the community, the Police and the Media can do to help find an abducted child alive. The NURIN Alert is what this is all about, better coordination and clear procedures to find the missing child fast. In these circumstances, parents should not have to go it alone. Get your issue of TELL magazine and find out what NURIN Alert is all about.

If you cannot find it, contact:TELL MEDIA SDN BHD, 1, Jalan SS 7/10, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan TEL: 03-7873 7313 FAX: 03-7873 8545 or email: michelle@tell.com.my

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More tantalising bits from the latest issue of TELL magazine. I lifted these pages from Rocky here.  Nuraina says TELL is on sale at MPH and BORDERS bookshops. Go get one fast!

Meesh says here “We’ve been getting really good publicity for this issue, because of the serious issues covered in efforts to “Save the Next Child: NURIN ALERT.” If you are interested in purchasing a copy or more, please do visit all major bookstores this weekend, they should be stocking it by then.

Alternatively, if you cannot find it, contact:TELL MEDIA SDN BHD, 1, Jalan SS 7/10, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan TEL: 03-7873 7313 FAX: 03-7873 8545 or email: michelle@tell.com.my

Updated from Meesh’s blog here: “Rocky asked me last night if I explained the issue, and I was going, “Erm, no?” Then I thought, who else knows these issues better than I do? So here goes, some of our favourites, and I hope some of yours too in this month’s TELL (in order of appearance).

1. Nuraina Samad’s NURIN ALERT – she advocates the Nurin Alert early warning system similar to AMBER Alert in the United States. The story makes you wonder how much more we could have done if we had a system similar to this set up before Nurin was killed. Nuraina doesn’t look back, but says instead, “Let’s save the next child.”

2. The Lawyer’s March, by well, me, hehe. It was written earlier this month and went to print before we could comment on BERSIH, and before the Royal Commission was set up. That’s why sometimes it’s hard writing issue stories for a magazine, but the lawyers I interviewed gave very important points that I hope you will share with other friends and family, on why the Judiciary is important to EVERY Malaysian.

3. Family Portrait with Mustapha Mahidin, or as he is known, Sir Moose – He sits down and speaks to Jazlin Jazimin and his family, who are picking up the pieces and moving on, resilient in the face of a tragedy so close to home.

4. Steven Lee’s photo book, “Malaysians.” TELL features the faces of some modern Malaysians through a photo spread of portraits, and a type of photography that distinctively blurs the often divisive lines of ethnicity.

5. Taking On New Delhi and the town of Hoi An, in Central Vietnam are TELL’s destinations this month, the text given startling humanity with lifelike photographs.

6. Vintage Fashion is explored by fashionista Ying Huang, and she finds out why your parents clothes are now fashion gold, and not fashion old.

7. Rountable Discussion with: Datuk Seri Shhrizat Jalil, Wahti Mahidin, Nuraina Samad, Rocky, Kamal Effendi (criminologist), Madeleine Yong (Director of Protect and Save the Children Association), Abang Ariffin (Advocate and Solicitor) and last, but not least, Jasni Abdul Jalil (Nurin’s Uncle). The discussion was moderated by Sir Moose. It is his staple piece in each TELL issue.

And much, much more:

-The Venetian Macau, the the Tokyo Motor Show, Amir Muhammad’s book, Shahril Nizam’s book, Lewis Pragasam, VW Beetle review on its 10th anniversary, Facebook: Are you On It? and Tanner’s Bukit Tunku.

TELL will be available at news stands this week. Do try and check over the weekend, it will be the best time. All major bookstores, and yes, even your friendly, local mamak!

roundtable.jpgroundtable2.jpgroundtable3.jpgroundtable4.jpg

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