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Archive for the ‘Bloggers for Nurin Alert’ Category

In an ill-advised public relations move, Datuk Seri Shahrizat decides to court bloggers with a dinner to “wow” them! No, I wasn’t there and won’t be there. The reason being that she’s got it wrong. She’s placating bloggers for not naming the missing children emergency alert the “NURIN Alert”, instead of the wishy-washy Nur Alert!! Since when was missing children a branding exercise? Who cares about her Ministry’s brand? What we want is a name that sticks in our minds, prompts us into action and a collective mindset to be on the lookout when a child goes missing. Yes, if her Ministry studied the Amber Alert they would know that this system can only work if the police take charge of it. There needs to be proper guidelines for media, police and the community to make this alert effective. We see none of that. There needs also to be a media blitz so the public knows what to d-. None of this either. What we get are forgettable TV advertisements. She and the police need to go on TV to tell the public about what needs to be done.

But why is she courting bloggers then?  It’s highly suspect to me. She fears the collective force of them. Hmmm….that smacks of election campaigning. More’s the pity! I thought she was better than those who throw up their arms in the air to proclaim “God forbid that I should be like Rosmah!” that smacks of arrogance. Listen, there is nothing noble about being a politician, opposition or otherwise, or about getting arrested for that matter. If politicians and their wives would just throw in some expensive jewelry into the charity coffers, maybe NURIN Alert could be mobilised the way it was supposed to and they’d clean up in the elections. Those who talk about educating the “permata” of our nation just don’t get it do they. Hello people! NURIN Alert is about the children.  Oh, I forgot, children can’t vote!

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Nurin Jazlin Jazimin

I tried to forget her, as did millions of Malaysians, because it hurts to think of her. Let her rest in peace they said, there was nothing else we could do for her, she’s dead and buried. What’s the point of keeping her memory alive, they asked. I don’t know why but she touched me, this sweet child.  Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s life may have been short but it was her cruel, tortured death that held meaning. While her killer(s) remain at large, the world has already forgotten her. Now, even the NURIN Alert (Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network) we advocated passionately has been abbreviated to Nationwide Response Network (NUR Alert). It’s the same thing they said. Really? People ask, who is Nurin? I hope the NUR Alert really does work as effectively as the AMBER Alert. Yet, while the world remembers Amber Hagerman, no one will remember Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. I weep for you again sweet child. They didn’t care then, they still don’t care now. You are in a better place.

 

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There were many mistakes made and painful uncalled for statements issued during the search for Nurin Jazlin Jazimin and after her body was identified. There was an unprecedented outpouring of grief for the dead child, mostly because prior to the return of her remains, following almost a month of wide media coverage on the search for her, the photo of a dead child was splashed on the front pages of the main newspapers nationwide. The aim of the newspapers was purportedly to help identify the dead child whose body, abused and emaciated beyond recognition, was found dumped on the doorstep of a shophouse in a zipped sports bag. The shocking discovery and realisation that the unidentified body was indeed Nurin, after confirmation using DNA fingerprinting, was what made many of us take notice of Nurin and caused the entire nation to share in the grief of her parents and family. What followed soon after, the fiasco that ensued after the leak of her postmortem pictures in the internet, added inhuman insult upon inhumane injury. The nation was reeling in pain, some needed to lash out  at the police, at authorities, at politicians and at her parents, whomever  it was they thought could have and should have shielded and protected the child, and indirectly us too, from this barbaric monster who still lurks amongst us. The nation has not healed and many of us, including her family, are  still awaiting closure. Will we ever find it?

In the case of little Adam Walsh, the missing boy whose head, but not his body, was recovered after he went missing from a focus1210Florida shopping mall, the same emotions ran through the entire United States when I was still there. A regular TV news addict,  I too got caught up in the news reports, and along with millions of Americans, I waited and prayed for Adam’s safe recovery, hoping he had just strayed off with well-meaning people. Until the fateful newsflash came, of the discovery of his head, in the river near the shopping mall where he first went missing. I remember crying when I heard the news. I remember the inconsolable sorrow and I remember the pain we all shared, family members and complete strangers alike. Now, after so many years, I read about the closure of Adam’s case with a pang of nostalgia for the days when children were safe. I also feel gratifide that the US learned from Adam by improving and correcting mistakes made during the search for him. There is also this deep sense of sorrow that in Malaysia, we have still not learnt anything. from Nurin . Indeed, I salute the US police officers who apologised for the mistakes they made in the search for Adam, I commend them for admitting it and for taking steps to remedy their shortcomings. For their honesty and professionalism, Adam’s case can now be closed. And I, like the millions of people who were there when Adam went missing, still shed tears of grief  together with his parents, for a child that left us this valuable legacy so that other parents would be spared this unbelievable sorrow of losing a child in such horrendous circumstances. Can we expect our police force to learn anything from Nurin Jazlin Jazimin? They won’t even mention her name.

Read this CNN news report and excerpt below:

Hollywood police were accused of some major blunders in their investigation, and Wagner apologized to the Walshes for those mistakes. The case, he said, “made us a better agency…. If this same type of situation were to occur today, I would tell you it would be a much quicker, much better, much cleaner outcome.”

“In 1981, when Adam disappeared, you couldn’t enter missing children information into the FBI computer system,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Walshes are co-founders of the center.

“You could enter information on stolen cars, stolen guns and stolen jewelry, but you couldn’t enter information on missing children,” he said.

Walsh, who before Adam’s murder was a hotel developer, went to Capitol Hill and began a second career as an activist for crime victims. He fought for passage of the 1982 Missing Children’s Act, which created the FBI’s national database. Today, there are at least 80,000 missing children listed in the database.

In 1981, when Adam was taken and killed, there was no coordinated national response to child abductions. The 18,000 police departments across the United States did not effectively communicate.

“Most police departments would tell you he probably just ran away, if he doesn’t come back, call us in 48 or 72 hours,” Allen said. “But, what we’ve found in 75 percent of cases, the child is dead within the first three hours. Waiting until the day after tomorrow is just too late.”

Walsh lobbied for more federal legislation and by 1984, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was up and running. With it came an explosion of activism that resulted in the faces of missing kids being printed on milk cartons and on fliers that have gone into 85 million homes a week for 23 years.

There also have been advances in age enhancement photography. “Code Adam” is now an internal alarm at 70,000 department stores and shops that alerts employees to potential threats to children. The employees are trained to lock the doors when the alarm goes off.

“It’s a powerful example of the legacy of one little boy and his courageous parents,” Allen said.

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0_61_walsh_adamLike fellow blogger Oliver Krishnan (Real Life), I started blogging about NURIN Alert when I got hot under the collar with this post “Shut up and do something about it!”. In that post I wrote about the abduction of Adam John Walsh and the gruesome discovery of his decapitated body. Having been in the USA during the time news broadcasts of the search for Adam and his eventual discovery, I empathized with the emotions aroused by the death of this little boy. His family, especially dad John Walsh, campaigned tirelessly for the formation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Code Adam program for helping lost children in department stores and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act that institutes a national database of convicted child molesters and higher penalties for sexual and violent offenses against children.

Today, after over 27 years, the case of Adam’s killers is now closed. Read news reports here, here and here. What our cmgirl_article_narrowweb__300x4180police officers and politicians can learn from this case, which happened long before Amber Hagerman was abducted and killed (but my cynicism doubts they will even know about Adam’s case), is how it helped US police as eventually more tools were designed to assist them in the search for an abducted child. The police did not just fold up their files and forget about Adam after his body was discovered by saying they did the best they could. Instead the search for his killer continued until now that is. Read the following excerpts from news reports that I hope would spur our own Police and tDatuk Dr Ng Yen Yen’s Ministry to think more seriously about adopting Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s name for the NURIN Alert:

For all that went wrong in the probe, the case contributed to massive advances in police searches for missing youngsters and a notable shift in the view parents and children hold of the world.

Adam’s death, and his father’s activism on his behalf, helped put faces on milk cartons, shopping bags and mailbox flyers, started fingerprinting programs and increased security at schools and stores. It spurred the creation of missing persons units at every large police department.

“In 1981, when a child disappeared, you couldn’t enter information about a child into the FBI database. You could enter information about stolen cars, stolen guns but not stolen children,” said Ernie Allen, president of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, co-founded by John Walsh. “Those things have all changed.”

The case also prompted national legislation to create a national database and toll-free line devoted to missing children, and led to the start of “America’s Most Wanted,” which brought those cases into millions of homes.  (Read full report here)

Walsh Case Changes The Face Of Missing Children
Eliott Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBS4) ― Twenty-seven years ago, those who lived in South Florida mourned together with John and Reve Walsh. As the years after six-year-old Adam’s disappearance went by, we witnessed how his death changed the future of child safety and missing children forever.

“Everything has changed. That day made everything change,” said Claudia Corrigan, vice president of “A Child is Missing,” a group based in Fort Lauderdale that locates missing children across the country. “Since then, so much proactivity has occurred in order to not have this happen again.”

Corrigan is right. Police have many more tolls than they had when Adam disappeared.

In 2006, President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, which mandates the registration of sexual offenders and child predators.

“This law makes an important step forward in this country’s efforts to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” President George W. Bush said in 2006 after signing the Act.

Wal-Mart also established Code Adam, a safety program for missing children now used in thousands of stores and office buildings.

“Code Adam was another wonderful tool to law enforcement to help prevent a child from going missing,” said Corrigan.

“A Child is Missing” has helped safely recover 435 missing children using high-tech tools that connect them directly to police, and even satellite technology.

So, for Claudia Corrigan, who along with the program’s founder Sherry Friedlander, has dedicated much of her life to finding missing children, the work done here honors the memory of Adam and other child crime victims.

“It is so important that parents get involved in their children’s lives,” said Corrigan.

New Tools Since 1981 Adam Walsh Abduction and Murder
By Joe Ulery 12/16/2008

It’s been 27 years since six-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted and murdered in Hollywood, Florida.

The little boy was the son of John Walsh who would later become the host of television’s “America’s Most Wanted.”

Hollywood police are now officially closing Adam’s abduction and murder case.

But while Adam’s case ended in death, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police say a lot has changed during the past three decades, giving officers more tools to use when a child is taken from parents.

Detective Chester Price has been an Indianapolis police officer 22 years. Since he took the job, science has made advancements, the Amber Alert System has been implemented, and there is improved relationship between police and media to get information to the public as fast as possible.

Another key in preventing a child abduction is educating children about who not to talk to.

It used to be we were told not to talk to strangers, but Price says that is not the right thing to tell kids.

“When you ask children what a stranger looks like, they’re going to describe a bad man with a mask and a gun. But a stranger is really anyone children do not know,” Price explained.

Having information ready to immediately hand to an officer also improves chances of finding the missing child.

Parents should have a current picture, not one from school, but one depicting the child on an average day. Other helpful things include a DNA swab of your child’s mouth. It can be stored in the freezer. Also have accurate documentation of the child’s physical appearance.

The biggest mistake you can make if your child is missing is searching to find him or her before contacting police.

Price says call police immediately, so they can help search. He says 74-percent of missing children who are murder are murdered within the first three hours of abduction.

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Just when I had given up on anything good coming out of the NURIN Alert proposal, the debate on cmgirl_article_narrowweb__300x4180this issue is ongoing in the NST (See Letter to the Editor below). I fully agree with the views of Dr Hartati as it indeed reflects very much what the Citizens for NURIN Alert (C4NA) had discussed. Indeed without the responsibility for decision making and coordinating the alert response, when an alert is issued there could be more chaos than help. However, while she calls for more research on this, isn’t the current scenario where well-meaning groups come out in a haphazard manner to search for the missing child already what is happening? She is stating the obvious when what we need is the Ministry to work with the almighty Police to get better coordinated. Don’t wait for another missing child before we mobilise the necessary teams into action. Conduct the research, do the training, create awareness, launch campaigns and educate the public. Educate, educate, educate until everybody gets the message!! That is the key to getting better coordinated. No matter how much we do to create awareness, there will always be  careless parents and oblivious children who will inadvertantly fall victim to these predators. What makes us be so sure that if we keep news of the missing child away from the public that the child will not be killed in those first few hours, let alone after days, months and years? It is the crucial few hours when the predator has not had a chance to get away and has not had a chance to harm the child that we need to act together in a concerted effort, mobilise everybody, create roadblocks at strategic roads and search the likely places where the perp might try to escape or hide the child. Logical thinking will tell you that there is a high likelihood that the child might be killed with all that media alerts blaring out on TV and radio and in newspapers, blogs and sms’es. But experience in the US where the Amber Alert has been in use since 1996 shows it not only can, but has worked.  Delays in mobilising the community will mean certain death and worse, after hours, weeks, months of torture and abuse. My heart breaks at the thought. Do what you will then while we pray that it is not our children or grandchildren that becomes the next victim. Read this article on Mlive.com if you are still unsure:

Safe return of three girls proves that Amber Alerts work
Posted by The Bay City Times December 10, 2008 08:11AM

The safe and sound return of three Saginaw girls to their relatives last month is proof positive.

Until that close-to-home case was quickly resolved through Amber Alerts on radio and television, the value of this cooperative arrangement between law enforcement and broadcasters might not have been clear.

Now, it is.

Police issued the alert, and broadcasters aired it, after the girls’ mother was found beaten to death in their home. Their father was thought to have taken the girls to visit relatives in Indiana.

A motorist who had heard the Amber Alert saw a car matching the description on M-52 in Shiawassee County. She called police, who stopped the car and retrieved the girls. Their father, Jose Olguin, 35, of Saginaw, was later charged with open murder in the death of Erica Olguin, 32.

The nationwide Amber Alerts are for exactly this kind of case. Not every report of a missing child qualifies for the urgency and wide reach of an Amber Alert.

They are reserved for children 17 and younger who are believed to be abducted, and in danger. Amber is the name of an Arlington, Texas, girl who was abducted and murdered in 1993. It’s now also an acronym, standing for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.”

And, now, we have seen just how well it works.

 The New Straits Times Letter to the Editor:        

2008/12/11

MISSING CHILDREN: Second thoughts about adopting the Nurin Alert
DR HARTINI ZAINUDIN Rumah Jagaan Kanak Kanak Nursalam, Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur

I REFER to the letter from Oliver Kumaran of Kuala Lumpur on the Nurin Alert (“Speedy information is of the essence” — NST, Dec 8).

Allow me to elaborate on where Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development stand with regard to the proposed Nurin Alert and the new Child Protection Policy which is likely to be approved soon.

I am the adviser to Rumah Kanak Kanak NurSalam in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, a 24-hour, one-stop crisis centre for children under 18 and a “drop in” and activity centre. The centre has 333 children, mostly under 12 years, registered with it.

We are constantly taking in more children. The week that Nurin disappeared, a 7-year-old boy turned up at my centre. He had been detained by someone for three days, molested and released, scared and scarred. He isn’t the only child, abducted, molested and returned, or who disappears.

The sheer frustration of seeing the mother and this little boy suffer is immense and the case is still pending, a year on.

So, if there’s anyone else who wants to see a comprehensive and effective alert system for children who go missing, it’s us at NurSalam.

I have also been part of a task force working on the Child Protection Policy (there are many government agencies and non-governmental organisations who have been invited to work on the policy) because the ministry feels it needs all the help it can get and believes we have some expertise in the different areas that must be looked at with regards to the protection and welfare of all children.

The alert system that Kumaran refers to is only one of many safety mechanisms proposed in the Child Protection Policy. It calls for a comprehensive alert bulletin to be issued during a suspected abduction of a child — including sms, email, television, radio and cable station participation — to disseminate information on suspected missing children in the quickest time.

There needs to be a central agency that coordinates and is responsible for sending out this bulletin; the recommendation (and rightly so) is this task should go to the the law and judicial enforcement agencies, not the ministry, as is the case in other countries that have alert systems.

So, while the Child Protection Policy can recommend an alert system in cases of suspected abduction (which we did), the minister is correct in saying that the “Nurin Alert” is not part of the Child Protection Policy because the ministry cannot spell out how to enforce this alert without agreement from the local enforcement and judicial agencies.

One of the biggest problems with the Amber Alert or similar systems is the number of false alarms that are raised because there is no strict adherence to the very narrow and definite criteria that have to be met before a bulletin is issued. This bulletin is a huge responsibility; there should be serious consequences if an agency issues a bulletin with incomplete or inaccurate information.

We need to do a lot more research on strategies and fool-proof procedures before we decide to implement an Amber -type alert comprehensively.

The last thing we want to do is to jeopardise the safety of a child during the first few critical hours where we suspect a child has been abducted, because the abductor panics and harms the child (as probably happened in the recent case in Chicago where a 7-year-old was murdered allegedly during the first few hours of an Amber Alert).

So, the minister was correct too when she said that it was inappropriate to “splash the news of a missing child in the newspapers for the first few hours”. We don’t need mobs running all over the place looking for a missing child without direction and supervision from the law or judicial enforcement agency, who must lead the way in this.

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cmgirl_article_narrowweb__300x4180I just noticed this article in the New Straits Times and am suddenly knocking my head against the proverbial brick wall again. Why do we even bother to take any issue to the attention of the politicians in this country? They always try to wash their hands off and pass the issue to the next idiot. If they don”t know what the hell they are talking about then why don’t they just shut up instead of spouting a whole load of crap? Doesn’t the Minister realise that the reason the NURIN Alert was first suggested was because of the way the police mishandled the initial police report and the time it took for the media to take the report seriously, enough time for the child’s life to be at risk? Who cares what they call it, the least she could have done was learn what the system is about and why the AMBER Alert came into being in the first place and not repeat something some officer must have told her. The way Nurin or any other missing child’s report was handled was not anywhere near the way the AMBER Alert-based NURIN Alert was to have been implemented. I wonder if any member of the Royal Malaysian Police Force has been assigned the task of studying the system? What do they have to say about this? Oh, I forget, they did everything they could. Why oh why do we have to go through this again and again. Parents and grandparents, you better take care of your children and grandchildren because the politicians are too busy politicking, or whatever the hell they do when they are supposed to look after the welfare of the rakyat who voted for them, to care about the little ones should some crazed predator pick on yours. As for the police, I give up!!  Watch this video posted by www.parentsagainstpredators.org and take care of your children.

 

2008/11/23

Missing children alert system ready
By : Evangeline Majawat

KUALA LUMPUR: The early alert system for missing children is already in place but it is not called Nurin Alert, after Nurin Jazlin Jazimin who was found brutally murdered last year.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said a mechanism similar to Nurin Alert was already in place.

“I’ve said it clearly that the name ‘Nurin Alert’ is not in our programme or part of our plans on child protection. But the whole mechanism and processes from A to Z have been discussed and is already in place,” she said.

The so-called “Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network” (Nurin Alert) was first mooted last year, four months after the broken body of 8-year-old Nurin was found.

She had been sexually assaulted, murdered and her body stuffed into a gym bag.

The mechanism was modelled after the United States’ Amber alert — an emergency response system that galvanises the authorities and the community to locate missing children.

Dr Ng said the yet to be named emergency response mechanism was a major component of the proposed Child Protection Policy.

“We didn’t use the name Nurin Alert. America used Amber Alert. We have not decided.”

Dr Ng stressed that numerous meetings between her ministry, the police and non-governmental organisations had been held to realise the mechanism.

However, she pointed out that it was up to the police to act first in a missing child case.

“In our intense desire to save children, we must know what is the best mechanism to do so. The first thing to do when a child goes missing is to make a police report.

“We can’t instruct the police on what to do. It is a police matter and they know how to handle it.”

Dr Ng said it was inappropriate to “splash the news of a missing child in newspapers for the first few hours”.

“This creates panic and they (kidnappers) may kill the child,” she said….

 

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Yesterday, I received an email from Jasni, Nurin’s uncle, asking me about the proposal we sent to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development Ministry late last year and I promptly forwarded him the email without asking what he needed it for. This morning my daughter excitedly told me NURIN Alert was in the New Straits Time. Sooo…that’s why Jasni needed to get that email.

On reading the article, I congratulate NST for highlighting this much needed system which has been sadly forgotten in the aftermath of Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s loss in the March 2008 political tsunami of a general election. She should not have lost that vote and I hold it against Nurul Izzah for challenging her when Shahrizat had done so much and had more to do. I really don’t care for this personality cult kind of politics when winning is more for personal glory than for the people or the nation. I had actually given up on the initiative seeing the light of day as there was no word on the Child Protection Policy that it was supposed to be tagged onto either. Until I read the NST article below by Tan Choe Choe that is.

However, the question Tan raised on the NURIN Alert for the incoming Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen was actually explained in the other article “A department just for children” when the Minister explained about the CPP. I’ll be happy if the Ministry adopts the AMBER Alert system of finding missing children in whatever shape or form. No matter what they name it, we need a system that can help us find those children fast.:

To kick it off, the ministry will be submitting the much-awaited Child Protection Policy (CPP) to the cabinet for endorsement.

The ministry is also drafting a comprehensive Child Policy that will look into the survival, development, protection and participation of children — the key guiding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that Malaysia signed in 1995.

“It’s tied in with the CPP,” added Dr Ng.

The Children’s Department will play a major role in monitoring and ensuring the proper implementation of CPP and the Child Policy once it is set up.

Dr Ng said there were five major elements in the CPP and they addressed the creation of a safe and child-friendly environment, setting-up of after-school care facilities to avoid leaving children alone at home, screening of childcare providers, adoption of appropriate protocol for dealing with children and introduction of standard operating procedures that should be taken when a child goes missing.  

2008/11/16
Authorities still sleeping: Nurin Alert remains just a proposal
By : Tan Choe Choe

KUALA LUMPUR: The much vaunted Nurin Alert is still in limbo — more than a year after the brutal murder of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin.

In fact, it is possible that the Nurin Alert may not see daylight at all. The authorities appear uncertain as to who should handle it.

The Nurin Alert was to have been a mechanism to disseminate information on missing children so that it reaches the public in the shortest time possible and ultimately help locate the children.

It was proposed after the body of Nurin, 8, was found stuffed inside a gym bag on Sept 17, 2007, slightly more than a month after she went missing.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen told the New Sunday Times that the Nurin Alert was not part of the Child Protection Policy to be submitted to the cabinet for approval.

This is in sharp contrast to the statement by her predecessor at the ministry, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, on Jan 20, that the implementation of the Nurin Alert was just a matter of formality and that the system was already in place and working.

“We’ve decided to park the alert system under the Child Protection Policy as one of its components — it’ll be our last module because we’re first looking at more preventive measures,” Shahrizat had said.

That was about four months after the murder of Nurin. The Nurin Alert was mooted by Nurin’s uncle Jasni Abdul Jalil and his group of blogger friends following the tragedy.

Nurin means “Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network” and was modelled after the United States’ Amber Alert.

It was earlier reported that a proposal on the Nurin Alert system had been submitted to Shahrizat. However, Dr Ng said no such proposal had been received by her ministry.

When contacted, Jasni said he had emailed a copy of the proposal to the Welfare Department’s director-general sometime late last year and had subsequently received a note acknowledging receipt of the proposal on Nov 2.

Jasni had told the New Straits Times in September that he wanted the police to take ownership of the system, but the police had said that it was the ministry’s initiative.

Dr Ng, however, said the ministry was not in charge of the alert system and that such a system was related to enforcement work.

Her ministry, she said, was more involved in awareness and advocacy work.

So does this mean that the initiative is not under the ministry anymore?

“I won’t say it’s not under me, but to start the process, it should be inter-agency. It’s not an easy matter,”she said.

“But there is a section in the CPP that suggests that an early warning alert system for missing children should be developed, but with input from government agencies, non-governmental organisations, academicians and, more importantly, the police.”

Madeleine Yong, director of P.S. the Children, said she was not surprised at the state of affairs.

“Looking at the trends over the past years in child rape and murder issues, we have too many suggestions that are knee-jerk reactions.

“We have too many programmes or services created that are ad-hoc.

“We need to have a lot more discussions and strategic planning for this system to be implemented effectively,” said Yong.

“The entire system should be framed around the primary objective — to promote the wellbeing of children — rather than to meet the requirements of organisations or departments,” she added.

For Nurin Alert to be realised, there must be teamwork between the lawmakers, the Women, Dr Ng’s ministry, non-governmental organisations that deal with children, the media, law enforcement officers, social workers, hospitals and the entire community.

The Amber Alert system, Yong said, had a series of strategies to support the authorities and communities to increase the likelihood that abducted children would be recovered swiftly and safely.

One important lesson learned by Amber Alert implementers, she said, was that while it was an outstanding tool, it was ultimately only a tool to help in law enforcement.

“Training and having an investigative plan or strategy are the most important components.

“We need to start with these steps.

“We can have good ideas but the implementation, monitoring and sustainability of a programme or system needs a lot more effort.”

“So am I surprised Nurin Alert didn’t take off? Absolutely not.”

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