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Archive for January, 2008

News update:

An attempted abduction scare for one 12-year-old girl at a bus stop in the US was followed by a report of a missing 12-year old girl from a parking lot about a month later here. Coincidence or a pattern? This report Car driver ‘cruised streets for young girls’ says a 23 year-old-man has been charged with 10 counts of attempted abduction of girls aged 13 and 14 during an eight month period between 2005 and 2006. In this report police in US released the description and a sketch of a man they believe attempted to abduct an eight-year-old child. In this report, a man was sentenced to ten years jail for attempting to kidnap and sexually assault a 9-year-old girl in broad daylight from her backyard. In this report, a man was arrested in connection with an assault and attempted abduction. It’s it about time our Malaysian police took a serious view of attempted abductions.  

This video here was produced in cooperation with the St. Louis County Police Department and cari_sharlinie.jpgdistributed in St. Louis after some high profile Child abductions in the early 90’s. Personally, I feel the video is well made and carries some pointers that many of us may not even be aware, especially the tactics used by abductors to gain a child’s confidence. I find it pretty scary that the abductor could befriend the child for several days prior to the abduction and it makes a lot of sense why kids easily follow strangers. After a few days of seeing the same mak cik or pak cik or abang who smile at them, these adults are no longer strangers. For lonely or neglected children any attention is better than no attention. Tips in the video also include reporting any suspicious activities. Imagine reporting that to the police here. If reporting a missing child already takes them forever to take seriously let alone to take action, I can just imagine the look of utter contempt that a report of any suspicious activity might elicit, especially if it comes from a child. Remember how Nini’s parents dismissed the sister’s account of the woman who (possibly) abducted Nini. I don’t think the police should have left that matter uninvestigated for so long before they questioned the sister again. We have the strongest ‘almost’ eye-witness and nobody gave serious consideration to what she had to say. Why did the police not use their better judgement?

 

Watch this video of a reenactment of a real life situation when a girl was accosted by a child molester while cutting through a back alley. Apparently the perp had molested two other girls days before the foiled attempt and he is a registered sex offender. This fact itself was alarming enough but watching this segment from Episode 107 of TV series 911 aired October 17, 1989 on CBS was eye opening. I find it quite an amazing video as the neighbour who happened to look out her window and spotted the girl being dragged to a blue van actually called 911 and got through to someone who listened to her frantic call and not only took it seriously but also dispatched police officers who later nabbed the perpetrator. Could this have happened in Malaysia? You tell me!

And in Malaysia, Malay mail reports here that “A neighbour, who only wished to be known as Che Ani, believed that black magic could be involved. “Just look at the case of Nurin Jazlin. Until today, police still can’t find the identity of the man carrying the bag in the CCTV footage. I believe the man who kidnapped Nurin is the same culprit who has Sharlinie now. “He’s practising some sort of black magic and that’s why Sharlinie can’t be found.”

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Toll-free Hotline: 1-800-88-Lini or 1-800-88-5464

In the meantime, also read this “Safety Tips: Preventing Abduction

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News Update: Finally, the IGP get’s it!!!! Just popped into my blog for a quick check for updates and I find this in The Star. My heart is crying “Why didn’t you do this months ago Tuan IGP, after Nurin???”. But we had to learn the hard way. Nevetheless, I am grateful for small mercies. Only, let’s take a really serious view of missing children. This is no longer an isolated incident that is to be blamed solely on the parents. Hey, blame is easy but why don’t we do something about it instead. Then maybe we can go to bed and get some sleep for a change. Our children deserve to be protected from the fate of Nurin and Nini. The responsibility lies with us all! 

IGP: Act fast on reports of minors who go missing

KUALA LUMPUR: Policemen must commence investigations immediately if there is any report of anyone below 18 years missing. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who issued this directive, said: “We must act fast. It does not matter if they went to a friend’s house or somewhere without informing their parents or relatives before returning. “The whole idea is to ensure they are located and found safe. We cannot afford to wait and see if they return before commencing investigations. It might be too late.” On Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, Musa still hoped the girl would be found unharmed and urged the public to continue providing information about her. He said police operations were ongoing and there would be no let-up in the search for the girl, who turned five yesterday.

I am really tired today. Can’t say much except the police may be missing something in the way they executed the NURIN Alert. Watch this video above that shows how the Utah police handle the search for a missing child. After each AMBER Alert, regardless of the outcome, an extensive review is conducted to insure that mistakes aren’t repeated and that their AMBER Alert plan continues to improve the chances that the next child will come home safely.

 

This video above reports on how one school stepped up police patrol after a young girl fought off a would be kidnapper and another showing Baltimore County police investigating an attempted kidnapping after a man allegedly tried to grab a 12-year-old girl as she walked to her school bus stop. Police need to take a serious view of abduction attempts as I had blogged about earlier here. This video below shows safety tips on prevention which are useful for parents and teachers to teach children.

Attempted Abductions
What Parents & Guardians Need to Know

The numbers are surprising: forty-nine percent of parents or guardians believe that their neighborhood is safe, and therefore are not concerned that their child will go missing1. The same research indicates that over half of parents and guardians do not have a recent photo of their child – one updated within the last six months – for emergency purposes. Yet preliminary analysis2 conducted by NCMEC’s Attempted Abduction Program indicates that child safety remains of paramount importance. Initial findings show that attempted non-family3 abductions:

  • Occur more often when a child is going to and from school or a school-related activity
  • More often involve children between the ages of 10 to 14
  • Happen to more female children than male
  • More often entail a suspect that uses a vehicle

Nearly 450 confirmed, attempted abductions were foiled when the victims:

  • Yelled, kicked or pulled away (56%)
  • Walked or ran away (32%)
  • Got help from an adult (12%)

In light of these findings, NCMEC encourages parents and guardians now more than ever to discuss safety with their families and to update children’s photo IDs. 

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Toll-free Hotline: 1-800-88-Lini or 1-800-88-5464

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News Updates: (Bernama)

Sharlinie’s Case: Report To Police If Neighbour Acting Suspiciously

The Star: Report neighbours who suddenly shift house

PETALING JAYA: The police are urging residents of Taman Medan to come forward with information of people who have suddenly shifted out of their neighbourhood or the surrounding areas recently. Selangor Police Chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar urged the community to come forward with any information about anyone suspiciously moving out of their homes around Jan 9, the day that Sharlinie Mohd Nashar went missing from her home in Taman Medan.“I also urge the people to inform the police if their neighbours have a new child living with them from that date as well,” he said.The police have now included various places in the Klang Valley in their search as well. A total of 18,000 premises in the form of construction sites, kongsi houses, abandoned buildings, flats, apartments and luxury homes have been searched in the house-to-house operation which started Jan 21.“In addition to that we will also be patrolling parks and playgrounds in a move to prevent more kidnappings,” he added. To further aid the effectiveness of this move he urged parents to keep a close watch on their children and not leave them unsupervised. He also urged people to come forward and provide the police with genuine information that could help solve the case.“The whereabouts of Sharlinie is still not known but we will not close this case until it is solved,” he said.

It was a normal hectic day for many of us stuck in the daily grind of work, work and more work, a task we surrender to willingly as a means to an end – so we can feed, clothe and shelter our families. We do so knowing that we leave our precious children in the care of surrogate parents, at home and in school, because we know we have to. Does it make us feel any easier to leave them knowing child predators could be lurking in every corner, waiting for that unguarded moment to snatch our child and punish us with a lifetime of regret? Given a choice, what could we do? Chain our children to us until they are old enough to take care of themselves? Never let them out of our sight, not even when we have to go to sleep in our home with the child sleeping soundly beside us? What then can explain why child abductions happen? I have no answers and neither does Erika Lyn Smith, editor of www.bellaonline.com who asks in her article “Missing Children – How Does a Child Disappear Without a Trace?”:  

How does a child killer remain free for 13 years? Someone somewhere knows the sick sadistic person that killed Angie. He likely has bragged or talked to others about what he has done. Perhaps he has spoken to others about Angie’s murder in the form of a fantasy. Speaking about what he would like to do to a child when in reality he has already carried out every detail of which he speaks in person or online. If anyone knows who the killer is or knows of someone who has said these kinds of things perhaps in a fantasy chat room online please contact the Saint Louis Missouri Major Case Squad or FBI.

The New Straits Times editorial “Finding Linie“picked a strange angle today with this commentary that I find strangely perplexing, a ‘neither here nor there’ run-a-round that skirts the real issues of why children go missing. It is so obvious we are nowhere near the mentality of a developed nation! We are not even close! 

IT’S all your fault that Linie is still missing, say the people to the police. What you have done has been too little, too late. It’s all your fault that children go missing and we have a hard time finding them, say the police to the people. You have been lax in looking after them and have been unwilling to lend us a hand. It’s all your fault that you have lost your children, say some people to the parents. You should have kept a tighter leash on them.

It may just be a human reflex to jump to hold someone else accountable when something bad happens. But pointing fingers does not do anyone any good and misses the urgent task at hand, which is to find Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, and fast. But in trying to find Linie, and every child who goes missing, we have to stop finding fault with everyone and everything and start looking out for one another. In joining the search for Linie and the missing children in any way and everywhere we can, we should also take a good look at ourselves and acknowledge our own responsibilities. Instead of relying solely on the police, everyone should do their part in protecting children from harm.

The parent is responsible for the child. It is the duty of parents to protect their children and to keep them from going to places of obvious danger. However, if the police cannot be expected to do the impossible and be everywhere at the same time, parents should also not be expected to do the impossible either and keep a close eye on their children every minute of the day and night. Yet, this is the kind of expectation that those who want to put parents on trial for their children’s disappearance or death seem to have. It seems unreasonable to hold as a matter of law that parents are negligent because they are not able to keep constant and unremitting watch over their children. They may not be perfect parents and may not have provided the necessary level of care and supervision, but justice is not served if they are held criminally liable for the violation of their children’s innocence.

Instead of trying to teach parents a lesson by sending them to jail for a crime they did not commit, it would be more meaningful to improve parenting skills and provide accessible child-care centres. There is also an urgent need to invest in early alert systems and dedicated units to locate missing children, awareness campaigns, and prevention programmes.

Since Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, I have been doing a lot of research on how police and authorities all over the world handle cases of missing children. From a layman’s perspective, I’d say Malaysians have a long way to go in understanding the issues at hand. When I sent emails and made phone calls to this newspaper and its editors to highlight the Amber Alert and the proposed NURIN Alert, they did not reply and the editors did nothing. When I emailed Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s via the emails listed on their respective Ministry’s websites about having the NURIN Alert, they never even acknowledged it. Did they. or their officers who read my email and possibly deleted it, not even know the issues at hand when we proposed the NURIN Alert?

I acknowledge that there was a semblance of a NURIN Alert that was implemented in the search for Sharlinie. The all powerful media did play their part, the police did pay attention and all the politicians did do their bit to bring attention to this child that may never be found alive again. There were no guarrantees that had the NURIN Alert been approved and implemented the way it should have, that Nini would have been found. Just like there are no guarrantees that your child may not be the next Nurin or Nini. Would you stake your life on it? The best that you or I can do is make sure that our precious children are not put at risk. 

At this moment in time, my thoughts are with the child, not her parents. When I embarked on the personal mission to help promote the NURIN Alert, I did so because I am grateful to God that Nurin Jazlin was not my child. If she had been, I wouldn’t know if I could forgive myself. I couldn’t look at another eight-year-old girl and not relive her agony in the days before she died. I would’nt want to be among people who could have helped my child but didn’t. And because of that I needed to find a way to prevent another child from becoming the next Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. Did New Straits Times, Shahrizat and Pak Lah not understand that? I am no politician running for office nor a publicity hungry personage. I am just a mother who can’t answer why it is your child that disappears without a trace and not mine. The best I can do is try to get the message across that NURIN Alert could give us the best chance of finding the child before anyone could harm him or her. NURIN Alert was meant to help prevent a another child from disappearing without a trace! But no one listened until it was too late. Now Sharlinie is missing and the best we have to offer her is to never give up. Hope is all she has! She is depending on us!

The Music Video “I Wish (In Search of the Missing Children)” was produced by a group of young professionals whose aim is to reach out to people to help find Missing Children around the United States of America. The song is about the sorrow of losing someone dear and a desperate longing to be with that person. It’s a cry to be heard, to be given another chance to see and be with that person and the pledge that expresses undying love for the missing one. The song is based on a real-life experience of a mother who lost her little one at the most unexpected time. The producers felt that the song “I Wish” plays a vital role in this music video in search of the missing children around the US. The words and the music in this song speak for its purpose. The people behind this video production offers their sincere intentions, their God-given talents and their devoted time to come up with a Music Video that hopefully would help pave the way to finding “The Lost”.

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Toll-free Hotline: 1-800-88-Lini or 1-800-88-5464 

Thank you Nina for forwarding these images to me. I need to credit the blogger who came up with these amazing images but can’t see his blogsite address clearly. Hope he doesn’t mind if I publicise these as it will help until police issue the official photofits of what Nini could look like now. Be on the lookout for her everyone!:

Take note of this entry!

Everytime I see her pics on TV, in newspaper, posters around town, I have to look like the pic below… trying to imagine how she would look like straight up…

Sharlenie’s disappearance is the latest kidnapping in Malaysia and everyone knows about this. So, I don’t have to repeat the story here. But I have done a few PhotoShop pics of her to help u guys spot her easier. Please distribute the pics to as many people as possible…

1) Standing straight up?
2) Maybe, she’s sporting long hair now?
3) Or maybe clean-shaven to look like a boy?
4) Even camouflaged with a tudung?

Also for updates on the Citizens for Nurin Alert (C4NA) recent meeting please visit Mary Kate’s chic new blog La Vie Est Belle (Life is Beautiful):  http://melialissa.blogspot.com/2008/01/nurin-alert.html

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cari_sharlinie.jpgToll-free Hotline: 1-800-88-Lini or 1-800-88-5464

News Update: 

The drama producer who recently screened the thinly veiled Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s episode in his Gerak Khas TV drama series has apologised as reported in Harian Metro here. I don’t understand why he could have been so insensitive and cruel in the first place. Just put himself in the place of the child’s family and he will realise how outraged they, and we, would feel about it. He is a father too isn’t he? If Nurin had been his child what would he have felt if some drama producer did a story on her like he did? Or would he be like this father who wrote in the Star “It’s My Daughter“?

I believe RTM should also take responsibility for allowing the episode to be broadcast as police investigations are ongoing and the perpetrator is still out there. For a nation that professes to uphold Islamic values, we sure have one hell of a way of showing it. Compare the millionaire film and drama producer with the struggling Jazimin and I really have no doubt that all the millions could never replace his child, Nurin! He will always be haunted knowing that his sweet innocent child had to die in such a gruesome manner. What did the drama producer (I don’t even want to mention his name, lagi perasan) ever do for Nurin? Did he help search for her? Come to think of it, if the man had been creative enough he could have done a story about how we could avoid being a victim, maybe even incorporate a NURIN Alert-type system to let people know we don’t need to feel helpless. Instead he chose to be dense? He only gave the perpetrators reason to laugh while we cry! :

“Saya memang tiada niat perkecilkan mana-mana pihak. Ia cerita rekaan untuk memberi pengajaran pada masyarakat dalam menangani jenayah. Malah sebagai iktibar dan mendidik mereka untuk berhati-hati dengan keadaan sekeliling. “Sekarang ini jenayah boleh berlaku di mana saja dan masyarakat perlu prihatin. Inilah mesej yang ingin disampaikan dalam Gerak Khas. Namun persamaan cerita kadang kala tidak dapat dielak.

…….“Apapun, saya tetap memohon maaf. Sebagai hamba Allah yang serba kurang dan tidak dapat lari daripada melakukan kesilapan, saya minta maaf,” tegasnya.

Sementara itu bapa Allahyarham Nurin Jazlin, Jazimin Abdul Jalil berkata, apa yang disiarkan dalam Gerak Khas itu mempunyai persamaan dengan kisah menimpa keluarganya. “Ia memang cerita saya dan anak saya. Justeru, bagaimana pula boleh dikatakan cerita rekaan sedangkan ia kisah keluarga saya. “Terus-terang, saya marah dan terkilan dengan penayangan drama itu. Malah kebanyakan orang yang ditemui juga mengatakan ia cerita kami,” katanya. Jazimin berkata, perkara itu tidak sepatutnya berlaku kerana kes berkenaan belum selesai. Katanya, penjenayah terbabit pun masih bebas.”

This time I have to say our Men-in-Blue are really stepping up to the plate as their search for Nini continues. The Star reports “House search for Sharlinie extends beyond 5km radius

“Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said that apart from searching constructions sites, kongsis and abandoned buildings, police were also looking for the girl at high-rise buildings, including flats and apartments and luxury homes. “The public should not be unduly worried as we will only check luxury homes that we believe need to be checked based on our intelligence reports,” he said yesterday. ACP Arjunaidi said that despite the expansion of the area of search, policewould recheck premises they had gone earlier as the abductor could go back to the buildings thinking that police would not check them again. “We will not stop until Sharlinie is found. Our men are on the lookout round-the-clock. “What we need is information leading to the girl’s whereabouts and again, I urge the public to call us if they have information on her,” he said. 

Not having much information to update reader’s on Nini, an interesting discussion ensued with my astute commentors Farina, Miqdad and Munira on the subject of police relations with the community. Farina comments:

hhmm i wonder if we have cops giving talk at our schools? dont u think its about time the cops do something extra to get close to the community theyr supose to look after?

to answer ur q if they are equipped w the expertise, the answer wud be no. Not tht im looking down at them but its a fact and its not entirely their fault. with a meagre pay and lack of training, theres only so much tht they can do. some ppl may argue thts not an excuse but they themselves wouldn do the job w such a low pay. the big guns have to do something to change all tht and maybe we’l see a different kinda cops.

As you know, Farina has a way of popping into blogs with her terse comments in particular the Amber Alert note on Nuraina’s blog that ignited the blogger campaign for NURIN Alert. My long response on the police visit to my old school lured Miqdad to suggest school field trips for young children to get familiar with the workings of the police. He says:

On the Police giving talks in school, I do not know about Malaysia, but when I was in primary school in London, there was always school trips to the police stations, fire station etc. where we were met with friendly police who seems to be always smiling and and giving us talks on safety, child abuse etc. etc. Thus from a very young age we were exposed to the dangers that lurks for any child.

In Malaysia too these could be done, rather than having one or two police personnel giving talks in schools. The school should organise trips to police stations (maybe Bukit Aman) to see how police do their job and listen to what they have to say.

I know these suggestions will not lend anything to Nini’s recovery but I am drawn to these as a way of preparing very young children on how to take care of themselves. Also, by organising school field trips for young children and for police officers to visit schools to give safety talks, there will be awareness on both sides about what dangers lie ahead for children. Parents should also play a role as this can be a community effort. Instead of placing the onus merely on the police to find a child after he or she has gone missing, there needs to be ways for children to prevent themselves from being chosen as victims (as Munira pointed out in the study of Victimology) and for parents and teachers to understand how the mind of child predators work.

Child abductions are not isolated incidences to be borne only by the suffering family. It is in fact the responsibility of the community and if any member of a community suffers, the entire community should feel the pain. While the NURIN Alert spells out procedures to take when a child is reported missing, there has to be other efforts for prevention, possibly the suggestions made by the commentors on my blog. Watch these videoclips I found. The first on engaging teens in the Community to work with the Police and the other two a documentary on safety tips should you get abducted (as Munira suggested). Really useful stuff.  

In this video here, the Toronto Police Service Youth in Policing students from Crime Stoppers and the Community Mobilization Unit designed a sign to post beside the Eve HO Likeness statue at the Canadian National Exhibition Grounds. It was placed at the site Friday August 17, 2007, one year after Eve HO, Kevin LIM and Jackie LI were last seen at their homes in Toronto.

The two videoclips here and here on “What Should You Do?” in a car jacking abduction.

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Toll-free Hotline: 1-800-88-Lini or 1-800-88-5464

News Update:

No news on Nini today (Sat 26 Jan), not even a mention on Buletin 1.30 on TV3. Aside from police quashing the SMS rumours here yesterday, she hardly made mention anywhere. (Actually there were a few small articles buried in the back pages of the newspapers here, here and here.) As attention turns to more pressing issues such as price of consumer goods, global feul rise and the upcoming general elections, there will hardly be any newsworthy space for this little girl. Will she be found soon? I and the police have no answers. Only her captors must decide when this will happen. Much as I want her return, my heart prays that they will spare her from harm. No, not another Nurin!

In the meantime, it seems the media, especially Harian Metro, have begun highlighting missing children the world forgot. In this recent report here, here, here, here and here they focus on another little girl Maslina Maulat Saidin, this time with a somewhat happy ending. This pretty little teenager was fortunate that her father managed to track down the love-smitten 18-year-old Indonesian contract worker who had talen her. I am told by a former maid that in her kampung it was normal for 12-13 year old village lasses to marry. I was agahst when she told me but remembered that my mom herself was married off to my 21-year-old dad at age 14-years. Only these days when women marry later in life, the thought of a 13-year-old running off with another man is just unthinkable.

In such a case as Maslina’s, an Amber Alert would not have been triggered as it would have been suspected that Maslina was a ‘runaway’. In addition, considering she was taken across international waters to Indonesia, it would have been difficult for the Malaysian police to look for her without the help of their Indonesian counterparts. Indeed she is one lucky girl to still be alive and I pray she will take better care not to be duped again. In the case of Denise Amer Lee in the US, who was reported missing on 17 Jan 2008 and found killed two days later here, the public is questioning here if an Amber Alert would have saved her as police hotly defend their actions here. ‘Who’ makes the decision ‘when’ and in ‘which’ cases is an Amber Alert to be triggered? The same questions will be asked in the implementation of the NURIN Alert and the police must make take control of making this all important decision. Not all fathers will be as fortunate as En Saidin and triggering the NURIN could be a matter of life or death! In the meantime, we keep looking for Sharlinie!mainpix.jpg

Read the New Straits Times report:

Maslina Maulat Siadin, 13, who went missing last month returned safely home on Tuesday. After a month of searching, her father Siadin Rashid, 44, finally found her on Pulau Lamaraya, a remote island southeast of Sulawesi. Maslina, the youngest in the family of six, is believed to have been abducted by an Indonesian contract worker from her house in Kampung Pondok Upeh. “I was so happy to finally be able to see and hold her after all this time. “I was shocked when Maslina told me that she was given a potion to drink to make her forget about her family before she was taken to Indonesia,” he said at his home in Kampung Pondok Upeh, Balik Pulau yesterday. Maslina, who was allegedly forced to marry the 18-year-old contract worker while in Sulawesi, was reported to have gone missing on Dec 16. Siadin said the family found out recently that the man, identified as La Ila, had taken his daughter to Indonesia. Siadin and his brother, Jalil, an Immigration officer, then left for Jakarta on Jan 17 to track down Maslina. From Jakarta, they took an eight-hour flight to Kendari, the nearest airport to Pulau Lamaraya. “On arrival, we took a three-hour taxi ride to the interior and were told by the localauthority that Maslina and a man had been detained at the police station. “We went straight to the station where a tearful Maslina rushed out and hugged me.” Siadin said he and Jalil had to do some hard bargaining with the Indonesian immigration and police before they could bring her home on Tuesday. “Maslina had entered Indonesia illegally at Tanjong Pinang, Riau, and then took a one-week boat trip to reach Pulau Lamaraya. “She survived on bananas and boiled corn during her journey.” Siadin expressed his thanks to the Malaysian Embassy and the Immigration Department for their help in bringing his daughter home as she had entered Indonesia without travel documents. Meanwhile, Maslina’s mother, Salmiah Hussin, was thankful that her youngest daughter was finally home. “I am so happy. I plan to throw a thanksgiving gathering to celebrate her return.” Maslina declined to be interviewed by reporters. 

Much as I wish I could fill you in with details of the Citizens for Nurin Alert (C4NA) meeting this yesterday evening, I was there only for the closing. Sigh!!! I missed out on much of the discussions while busy battling traffic and grappling with a lifelong handicap in figuring out directions. Aside from being the butt of jokes about having geopositioning systems installed in my car from Chairman Kamal Affandi Hashim, I gather it was a great meeting. Mostly because I got to meet two regular commentors on my blog, the lovely Mary Kate and  Steph. Indeed I was so pleased to finally meet up with them that I wish we had had more time to chat. My loss unfortunately. Maybe one day we can meet up for tea and a chat ladies. It’s not often I go out for socializing but to be able to meet the two of you again would be fabulous. Tune in for updates in Jasni’s blog.

As usual today Munira posted a real zinger of a thought provoking comment:

“Which is why now a lot of the investigations work in the West have started to focus on the victims (Victimology) to try understand why that particular victim was chosen for that particular incident in violent crime cases.”

Now, this called for a little Wiki surfing and I uncovered this explanation on Victimology

Victimology is the scientific study of victimization, including the relationships between victims and offenders, the interactions between victims and the criminal justice system — that is, the police and courts, and corrections officials — and the connections between victims and other societal groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements.”

Like Munira, I wonder if our men in blue in the Royal Malaysian Police are equipped with these sorts of expertise these days? They should learn from a retired police detective in Connecticut who now “stalks the mind of a predator ” by going around the state speaking to groups of parents and other adults on a more realistic approach to understand the heart and mind of a potential predator. This report here says he teaches parents that instead of trying to shift the problem to the kids, parents should inform themselves on how a sex predator operates in order to recognize the dangers, and intervene and save their child. Having been with the FBI and at the Behavioral Sciences unit that deals with sex offenders, he says:

“…there are two types of sexual offenders against kids.

First there is the pedophile – a term the media has muddled, by using it to describe every sex offender, but which in reality applies only to the person who habitually targets pre-pubescent boys. He – and is always a “He” Kenary said, has high self esteem, is an extrovert, is often well educated, respected in community, and may be married. He has also a Peter Pan syndrome, acting often like a child, and has child lures like games, videos, and skateboards to attract his victims. He offers kids presents, “understanding,” and “respect,” and he is always allowed to approach his victim by its own parents, who never imagine what he is really after. “He is Mr. Nice Guy,” Kenary stressed, “but in his case ‘Nice’ is not a character trait, it’s a tool.”

While statistics show that pedophiles are very few, he said, pedophiles commit an inordinate number of crimes each, most of them attacking more than 100 kids before they are caught. And they are well organized, with international networks connecting them together, and even organizations promoting their “rights,” like NAMBLA – the North American Man Boy Love Association.

Recently the Internet has been a great attraction to these people, because they can easily find children whose parents are not aware of what is happening, Kenary said. They approach them by offering them the sense that they are nearer their interests, that they understand them better. “And you know what is the first present they send the kids?” Kenary asked. “A web camera.”

There have also been questions if pedophiles are attracted in professions that give them power over children – teachers, boy scout leaders, priests – Kenary pointed out, and while there are no specific studies on this, it should be something parents should always be aware of. “Is every teacher, Boy Scout leaders and priest a pedophile?” Kenary asked. “No. But a parent must keep in mind that one could be.”

And then there is the second group of sexual offenders against children, the regressed offender, the sexual predator that attacks children opportunistically, Kenary related. Generally under-adequate, from a dysfunctional home, inhibited, with low self esteem, no sense of self or identity, with little education and possibly intellectual deficits, this offender will try anything sexual, and mostly offends against girls. The crime is usually committed on impulse, inside the family, when the other partner is away, and often involve alcohol. And he always tries to deny the facts, sometimes blaming the attack on his victim. “Talk with your children, open lines of communication about sexual safety, talk to them about these people,” Kenary pleaded with his audience.

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Toll-free Hotline: 1-800-88-Lini or 1-800-88-5464

News Update:

I just read in Malay Mail here that many people, including journos in the Malay Mail,  received text messages describing how Nini had been found in Ulu Yam yesterday. However police have not confirmed these reports and from the headlines “My Daughter is Alive”, I am assuming what they purportedly found were her remains. Whatever it is don’t get unduly alarmed and let’s await official police updates.  Let us pray that Nini will be returned to us alive and well. Amin! 

There’s not much progress to report except that the police are stepping up efforts on all fronts. Prior to Nurin and Nini, I wonder if the police and everyone else had ever taken a serious view of missing children? I wonder if they might find many more such cases as Nurfarah Ain, the four year old who went missing from her home in Kuala Selangor two years ago (read below). If she was still alive she would be six years old this year. I wonder how many more of these unsolved crimes have involved young children below ten? Is there a trend to this or are these just cases of careless and neglectful parents? Nurfarah Ain’s case is shocking if the scant details in yesterday’s Harian Metro says that she was taken from her own home in the dead of night that even her parents were unaware that she was not sleeping soundly by their side. How many such unsolved cases are there and in which area have these occurred? I believe many of us, including the police, never took such cases seriously enough as thse are often viewed as isolated cases. Maybe some of us even turned up our noses muttering useless remarks about careless parents. Whatmore that these children have mostly come from poor neighbourhoods with their families busy trying to make a living. Is there a method to this madness? I truly wonder as the perpetrators must have been lying in wait for that careless moment in certain crowded working class  residential areas where they can just pounce on an unprotected child and wisk her away unnoticed. This wouldn’t have happened in Damansara Heights would it? Just a thought!  

Bernama reports here: “Police are stepping up intelligence work, focusing on Selangor, to find missing five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nashar.Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the move was made after the house-to-house search conducted with the cooperation of other agencies failed to locate the girl.”With better intelligence operation and reliable information from the public, God willing, we will be able to locate Sharlinie’s whereabouts,” he told reporters after visiting the RM53 million new Manjung police district headquarters here today. He said police and Sharlinie’s family had been swarmed with false information from pranksters and other irresponsible individuals. “We received a lot of information but they are mostly pranks. The family has suffered enough with Sharlinie missing, but these irresponsible people are making them even more miserable,” he lamented. Musa who believes that Sharlinie is still in Selangor, said that efforts were being intensified to find the girl. He said he had asked all district police and police station chiefs to take the necessary action when they received information on Sharlinie from the public. “Our operation to find Sharlinie has been extended to the border checkpoints where checks on vehicles entering and leaving the country are being intensified.” Asked on the possibility of Sharlinie being taken out of the country via sea route, Musa said the police force would not be able to station its men at every location due to the country’s long coastline. Musa said it was not wrong for Sharlinie’s family to ask for anyone’s help to find her, referring to the 50 bomoh who recently performed a ritual to locate the girl but the police could not use the information from the bomoh.Sharlinie went missing from a playground near her home in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya on Jan 9.”

I’ve been too busy to blog today and not sure what to do anymore about finding Nini but  giving up is not an option. As I passed a toll plaze, she was staring at me from a poster plastered on the side of the toll booth with that curious tilt of her head as though asking me the question: “Mak cik, are you giving up looking for me already?”. Child, where are you?” was the response from my heart to her unspoken plea. Despite all our efforts, there is still no sign of you little girl? There was hardly a mention of her today on TV3 except a brief visual report about the house-to-house search. I am telling you it’s easy to believe there are mysterious forces at work that is keeping her hidden from mortal eyes. What else can explain her disappearance. Obviously by now her abductors are fully aware that we are looking for her, yet they remain hidden and refuse to return her. Is she alive? I want so much to believe in promises of her return because I hate to confront the worst. What do we do?

While we mourn the loss of one little girl and keep busy searching for the other, there was another little girl who was reported in Harian Metro here as having been lost without a trace more than two years  Then four-years-old, Nurfarah Ain Razali was reported missing on 21 August 2006, while sleeping with ther mother, father and five year old brother in the living room of their home. Her mother realised Ain was missing when she woke up at 4.15 am to prepare nasi lemak. Anyone with information on Ain is requested to contact her mother Anita at: 017-6151470 or to call Rakan Cop at 03-21159999. If only we had her photo and the forensic artist could do an age progression photofit of what she would look like now as recommended herehere and here.

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Age Progression of Children Missing Two or More Years

Row 1: Joseph Carson
Missing at age 2; Age Progression age 7; Recovery age 7

Row 2: Sara Eghbal-Brin
Missing at age 3; Age Progression age 7; Recovery age 8

Row 3: Jonathan Ortiz
Missing at age 1; Age Progression age 10; Recovery age 10

 (Source: National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children)

And while the whole country wonders if anything is amiss in these unusual cases of missing children, we can never forget little Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. Many sceptics and the perpetually disgruntled ask why Nurin’s case seems to be getting so much media attention whereas other missing child like Nurfarah Ain seem all but forgotten? May I just remind all those who somehow always find a way to voice their toxic opinions that the very reason Nini’s case is getting this unusual amount of attention, both from the police and from the media, is because of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. The brutal torture this innocent child suffered at the hands of her perpetrators shook us up from our complacent slumber. And now, with the yet unexplained return of Nurin’s lifeless remains and the bizarre discoveries in Ulu Yam as well as the ceremonial splash of the bomohs I wonder if we are dealing with a new phenomenon?  In digging up all missing persons files, I hope the police can solve these mysteries and stop sweeping all unexplained cases into the pile of unsolved crime filed under cold cases. Could it be possibly linked to devil worhips that calls for sacrifice of innocent children? It is not  the truth or falsity that I question but the possibility that in their twisted minds bent by greed and evil, that the life of an innocent child is the ultimate offering?    

In the meantime, Nurin’s tragedy is still being exploited as the Harian Metro report “Pertikai slot drama Gerak Khas” questions: 

“Diam tak diam, hampir lima bulan ia berlaku. Sepanjang tempoh itu, kes pembunuhan Nurin belum selesai dan dalam siasatan. Bagaimanapun, drama Gerak Khas yang disiarkan RTM2, baru-baru ini ‘mengingatkan’ semula penonton pada kes itu. Aktivis dan Penganalisis Jenayah, Kamal Affandi Hashim, berkata dia terkejut dengan jalan cerita yang dipaparkan drama itu sebaik menontonnya dua minggu lalu. Katanya, kisah drama itu saling tidak tumpah seperti peristiwa yang menimpa Allahyarham Nurin. “Pada saya, ia bukan saja mempunyai persamaan kes Nurin tetapi jalan cerita digambarkan hampir tiada perbezaan. Kisahnya menceritakan seorang kanak-kanak diculik di pasar malam dan akhirnya ditemui meninggal dunia. “Lebih mendekatkan kisah itu dengan Nurin apabila objek timun dan terung turut dipaparkan dalam drama berkenaan. Malah, ia juga dikaitkan kes ceti haram (along) yang digambarkan kena-mengena dengan si bapa. “Sebagai orang yang menonton, saya dapat meneka paparan drama itu ada kaitan kes Nurin. Selain itu, saya menerima banyak panggilan telefon daripada orang ramai mengenainya. Rata-rata, mengakui cerita itu kisah Nurin,” katanya. Kamal berkata, pada mulanya dia tidak tahu mengenai penayangan episod Penjenayah Seksual Kanak-Kanak dalam drama Gerak Khas itu. Namun, disebabkan kenalan yang memaklumkan dan dia tidak melepaskan peluang menonton bahagian kedua episod itu. “Selepas menontonnya, saya dapati persamaan memang ada. Bagi saya, kalau itu cerita rekaan kenapa mesti ada objek seperti timun dan terung. Tidakkah ada objek lain yang boleh gunakan seperti ranting, kayu dan batang cangkul,” katanya. Kata Kamal, penulis skrip drama itu seharusnya lebih peka. Jika mahu menyiarkannya juga, skrip perlu diolah sebaik mungkin supaya ia tidak mengganggu sensitiviti pihak lain. “Saya pun tidak tahu sama ada mereka (pihak penerbitan drama Gerak Khas) pernah berjumpa Jazimin Abdul Jalil (bapa Nurin) untuk berbincang mengenai skrip. Pada saya, seelok-eloknya adakan perbincangan supaya ia tidak terlalu menjurus pada kisah sebenar. “Setakat jadikan media rujukan, itu tidak cukup. Oleh itu, bila keadaan seperti ini berlaku seeloknya pihak berkenaan berjumpa Jazimin untuk memohon maaf. Saya tidak tahu bagaimana cerita ini boleh disiarkan sedangkan kes belum lagi selesai,” katanya.”

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