Sunday, September 30, 2007

Take Care of Your Kids, Let's Have Nurin Alert


I don't know whether at this point in time following the brutal murder of eight year-old Nurin Jazlin, there is any effort to discuss measures to save abducted children, or even plans to provide safety guidelines for parents and children.

Let's stop the rhetorics and tiresome statements that are playing like an old record, that we have heard over and over again.
Tell us something we don't know. Tell us something new.

Again...stop criminalising parents for negligence. I cannot agree more with NST columnist Johan Jaafar here.
We keep doing that and we will get nowhere near finding a long-term solution to helping kids like Nurin in the future.

I think the relevant agencies should start working to educate society and to create awareness on safety for our children.
They should get assistance from professionals and experts in this area.
We claim to be no longer a Third World country, then, we should start having a progressive mindset in dealing with this problem.
We can always look to successful models and programmes in other countries.

Our blog sister, Farina of Princessjournals who mentioned Amber Alert (also here and here) when commenting about Nurin's abduction and murder in my earlier posting, came out with her own list (of do's and don'ts), inspired, I am sure, by her current American experience.
(Ahirudin Attan (Rocky's Bru) has suggested that a Malaysian Amber Alert be called Nurin Alert, in memory of Nurin. )

See Farina's suggestions here.
The guidelines are taught to families in the US. For (some of) them to be followed here in Malaysia, a mindset change is needed, which is absolutely not impossible.
But it has to start with education and awareness on why these are necessary -- for the safety of our children and to prevent another Nurin tragedy.

We cannot let Nurin's tragic end remain just a memory that will dissipate and disappear with time. She did not die in vain, for us to forget that it may happen again, as I know it surely will.
Should we continue with our lives as though everything is back to normal and hunky-dory and, yeah, yeah, life goes on?

I am strongly for Amber Alert, as is another blogger, Tembam, a former journalist who visited my posting on Nurin and the relevance of Amber Alert. Tembam who supported the need for an Amber Alert in this country, has been posting about Nurin and the Nurin-after situation with passion, vigour and a little bit of anger. Thank you, Tembam.

If we had an Amber Alert already in place, let me tell you, those murderers would not have got away with what they did to Nurin.

Amber stands for America's Missing Broadcast Emergency Response. But it is also the name of the child who was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996. The tragedy of nine year-old Amber Hagerman shocked America and caused public outrage. Amber Alert came into being. The concept has been embraced by all segments of society and has saved the livesof hundreds of children.

Here is what it's about:

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

  • The missing child is of a pre-determined age;
  • The law enforcement agency believes the child has been kidnapped;
  • The agency believes the missing child is under threat of serious bodily harm or death.

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

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

  • It is free;
  • It encourages participation between natural adversaries, law enforcement and media by drawing on their inherent strengths;
  • It promotes accountability by creating the foundation of a comprehensive missing child protocol;
  • It is an effective time critical response to kidnappers who can disappear with children at the rate of a mile per minute;
  • It sends a powerful message to wanna-be kidnappers that this is a community that cares about and protects children;
  • It saves lives.
When an Amber Alert is issued, the broadcast media goes into full swing, informing listeners and viewers of the kidnapped child's name and useful details such as how she looks like, what she was wearing the last time she was seen, and with whom and where or whether she was in a vehicle. Besides this, electronic billboards are used to flash the kidnapped child's name of picture and also the relevant details.
People are kept alert and will be on a look-out.

It must be remembered that when a child is abducted, it is always done with sinister design.
Having such a system is about saving the child's life before it is too late by forcing the perpetrator to release him/her before he sets out on his torturous binge.

I am certain, with will and commitment, it can work here. What do you think?

39 comments:

zorro said...

Noraina, timely, impactful post. Yes I am for this. But I still believe that parents must play a crucial role to prevent child-kidnap. Last night, before getting into the lift lobby, a male child, probably 8 years old stood outside the entrance, alone, whilst the mother was unloading some groceries from the car, about 40 metres away. I told the kid to go to his mother. He hesitated. I urged him again. Meantime the mother arrived with her push-cart and I took the opportunity to remind her to always have her child within sight. I reminded her about Nurin. They have an apartment here but was visiting from Singapore. She registered gratitude though. Our security system is pretty good, though not excellent. Anything could have happened. That child could have been whisked away.
Yes to Amber Alert!

Tembam said...

Nuraina, you rock! Thanks for the reference. I needed to put my anger to some good use and also learnt the value of blogs. Let's pray that the authorities will look into adopting such a system. It can be adapted to suit our needs and will require involvement of many parties including the all powerful media. Will Malaysia rise to the occasion? I am an eternal optimist. Malaysia Boleh!

Mr Bojangles said...

"...with will and commitment, it can work here..."

Glad you added that caveat. But the way things have been going, those two characters - will and commitment- seem to be as extinct as the dodo.

Let us look at two fairly similar cases, where children were kidnapped, one our Nurin and the other in Las Vegas. One was found brutalized - and dead. The other, although abused, has been found alive.

Forget about the differences in what the media, the public or the law enforcers did in the two cases. The statements by the police chiefs are telling enough.

Our cops, having failed to do anything in the first 30 days of the child being reported missing, were gung ho on wanting to prosecute the parents. "I think it is high time to apply the laws" said the top-dog cop. Not on the criminals, mind you but on the parents.

Contrast this with what the Las Vegas county sheriff said of the suspect: "Turn yourself in to your local law enforcement agency. Understand this: Law enforcement not only has a long arm, but a long memory. You will not be forgotten by members of this agency or any other law enforcement agency". Earlier he had this to say: "Whoever this person is is a predator that, as far as I'm concerned, belongs in custody and, if successfully prosecuted, in jail for as long as the law allows."

And believe me, I've seen these people work. If they have the resources they will be put to full use. No fancy equipment bought at great expense that doesn't work after two weeks. No finger pointing. Full cooperation and coordination by the relevant agencies. I've seen patrolmen in their vehicles by the roadsides and highways, keying in information on their onboard computers on suspicious vehicles passing by and if you happen to be on the list you can bet your bottom dollar, they'll soon be on your tail.

There is no doubting the desperation affecting us and the sincere intentions behind setting up an amber-like alert system here. But with the kind of attitude even by the top cop who should be instilling confidence rather than fear in the innocent, it will take a big leap of faith in the system to believe it will work here.

But what I can foresee is that there will be a sudden interest in the amber alert system by the likes of Sharizat. Lawatan sambil belajars will swing into motion. And before you can say korek, korek, korek, some crony will be awarded a billion RM contract to embed computer chips into our children at birth as part of a master plan to protect them from predators.

I wish I could be more positive. But of late there has been such a big slip between the cup and the lips, that a thorough overhaul of the whole machinery may be the only solution.

ahiruDin aTTan said...

Ena, get on that phone and call Kak Ijat. Let's help her do this right. If she does not want your advice because you are now a lying blogger, we'll do this as a blogger-only initiative. I am sure, though, that she can set see how this will benefit all. Shahrizat and the other ministers should stop listening to Zam and start believing that bloggers have a great role to play not just to make Malaysia a more mature nation but a better, safer place to live in.

Go, give her a call. If she does not do the right thing, we'll know what to do.

My hats off Farina and Tembam. But why "tembam", ah?

Pi Bani said...

YES to Nurin Alert! Also did a posting on this. It's time something more constructive is done rather than just finding faults.

A Voice said...

Hey sis, agree somethign must be done abt safety of children.

Sorry you misunderstood my roundabout way of saying Shahrizat screw up in her role in her Ministry in my posting. I was trying to write in UMNO language to hit at the poor running of Shahrizat's Ministry and administration of Dolah Corridor on society development.

Rather than blame and wait for this half past six Government to do anything, lets be responsible and do someting for our families and children!!!

THis is one movement and social awareness you can lead and champion it. ANd my child abuse fight.

Hi&Lo said...

Nuraina,

Nothing can soften the blow of Nurin's family but this will be kinda panacea that Nurin's tragedy has shaken and moved Malaysians into civic consciousness.

msiaman said...

I read in the news that the Indonesian girl in custody did call the Rakan Cop. If they had taken it more seriously, it would have avoided the tragedy.

Do not know why under the current IGP, our cops seem to have suddenly turned around from being relied upon to be the law enforcement people. But instead of working on the case, they try a pre-emptive strike to blame the parents. I am sure if we have a team of qualified security consultants, we would be able to uncover lots of short comings in the PDRM. That may be the reason why the PDRM so against IPCMC.

Instead of being defensive, why not aim at improving it once and for all. But I guess the 'government' if incapable of seeing reality but just selling false security to the rakyat.

'Nurin Alert' may be the way forward for the time being and the best option rather than hearing excuses from the government pembesars and the police.

Malaysian Unplug said...

Nuraina

The police should get off their butts and patrol the streets more, not just the tollways and the roads.

I have very grave concern on the circumstances surrounding Nurin's murder. It is too gruesome to be a simple murder case.

1. Firstly, the civil society should call for a FIRST-STRIKE on paedophiles and child-pornography. Start with the pasar-malam sellers of pornographic dvds on child pornography with a very strong deterrence of long term imprisonment.

2. A close monitoring of all immigrant labour entering the country. Stop the politicking of the issue of migrants.

3. A special unit with the only task of cracking child pornography... the criminals be fully exposed. I have no qualms about a death penalty for such crimes. This is worse than the drug possession or gun possession.

The police should spend LESS time worrying about bloggers attacking corrupt politicians and Ministers who are wasting public money.

Anonymous said...

Ena,
can Shahrizat's ministry lobby for an Amber(Nurin) Alert? Can her ministry also lobby for a special unit within the PDRM to crack down on childkidnapping, including child pornography as suggested by Malaysian Unplug? Can she also lobby for (a )real deterrent sentence(s) for such criminals involved in child sexual abuse and pornography? Pass a bill, change the law if we have to, but these criminals must be tried soonest, no long-serving jail sentences to await trial only to have evidence missing and technical hitches appearing during the lapse. I am thinking public whipping /stoning/even castration (sorry got carried away there) so that it will instill absolute fear in the minds of future offenders. And has-been offenders are thus "marked" for the rest of their lives, which they deserved anyway.

Getting the culprits is one thing, but how to serve a real deterrent sentence once they have been proven guilty very important. One from which they cannot wrangle their way out.The fact that this is still happening means the sentences are just mere mosquito bites.

In the meantime, if it takes a 2 second reminder over primetime news and the media to remind parents if their kids are safe everyday,let's do it.

God bless Nurin for making the whole country put their thinking caps on at last!

Anonymous said...

Kak Ina,

Amber Alert ? - No. Sound copycat!
Nurin Alert ? - No . Too painful for the family perhaps.

Dollah Alert ? - Sounds familiar, do you think so?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will happen, trust me...

There is to much hypocrisy in Malaysia. Things only happen if you are a who's who.

Tun Hanif lost a VCD player and got a call from the IGP himself read here

What did Nurin's Taxi Driver father get?

This country is rotten to the core and unless significant change happens it will continue to be same old same old.

When the IGP first took on his job, there was a crack down on Mat Rempits (this was before their status were elevated to UNMO Youth Champions).

It was about midnight and there was a police roadblock just further from the Petronas (with A&W) in Kota Damansara. A whole bunch of UMNO Youth ..sorry rempits came speeding down, saw the road block and turned off into a slip road, hece bypassing the police.

I stopped at the road block and informed at Encik who was manning it. He said to me"I am tired, I have been standing here since noon, this is all because of the new IGP trying to do something, give it a bit of time, nothing will change and i can go back to my normal duty.." (of course he said it in Malay.) True enough Rempits are getting worse by the day.

So same old, same old. Lean from the monks in Burma - we need a sarong revolution.

MindaCergas

david santos said...

Hello, Nuraina!
Thanks for posting, very good.
Speaks to me on the Birmânia, please!

Thank you

Have a good day

team bsg said...

whatever ! it is a US of A product , a hopeless infidel & haram of course. Sad isn't it ?
100 rejected as long as there are UMNO & PAS around

elviza said...

Kak Ena,

I think this is excellent. I want to be positive. Lets get going...

QueenB said...

I think this is one US product/idea that we can copycat with no qualms. And you, farina and temban can spearhead the movement with our full support!

jediraj said...

Nuraina , its a great idea and should be implemented A.S.A.P .Sadly it wont take off here due to many reasons,the main reason being : ITS FREE ! Now pray tell, which Politician from which Ministry will do something that will benefit the Rakyat and he/she not getting a cut of the pie? RM 3 Karipap anyone ?

gps alert said...

not work.. better have GPS alert,only under RM3,000 to get gps inject on your body..

jediraj said...

On a POSITIVE NOTE , since someone has started the ball rolling ,there will be a lot of backing for the 'NURIN ALERT" PROJECT'.I agree with Rocky , make the call.. see what happens next,if we all push hard enough,that invisible wall will crumble. We're parents ,THATS REASON ENOUGH.

jediraj said...

By the way, the 4 male suspects in the Nurin's case, all released around 4pm today.Back to the drawing board guys !

Fara Zahri said...

hi all and yes, i'm all for this. On the naming part, i seriously think it should be named Nurin Alert. It should be some sort of tribute to little angel Nurin because if not for what had happen to her, we will still be sluggishly in bed, having the illusion of how safe and cozy malaysia is, when the fact that we are already in a criminal zone. Whether we realise it or not, Nurin had become our little hero.

But, i wonder if this alert will ever be implemented. I remember a few years back when someone suggested that we should have pictures of missing children on milk or juice cartons, everybody just backed off when a question of who's going to pay for it? was raised.

I doubt if the government will be willing to do it, because everything in Malaysia is so NOT FREE. While they never have hesitate to pay Russian million of ringgit to take our so called "astronauts" to the outerspace so that, he can make roti canai there, or sending bunch of mat rempit to land on the north pole, i really doubt if the government will be doing it for the sake of some unfortunate children, who are the sons and daughters of.....some taxi driver.. or nobody.....

Its a sad, sad situation....

jediraj said...

Ina, please remove the suspects released comment.. sources didnt wanna confirm.. DELETE IT .. tks

Moses said...

Nuraina,

A little bit delay here but never late...

I have both positive and negative feelings about whether Nurin (AMBER) Alert can be established here in Malaysia without the customary chest-thumping of this being "SLPKBN: Another BN government project", which is a total put-off. But speaking from a father of a young toddler, I couldn't help but to go for it one way or another even if it means at times groping in the dark.

But from the prospective of ordinary citizen, we have to start something and somewhere and this kind of issue cannot be tolerated along any kind of partisan line, be it political or racial line.

The Malaysian reality is that there is a certain lackadaisical attitude among section of the people. A great deal soul-searching has to be done in order to move forward.

But with regards to this NURIN ALERT, it is necessary for us (citizen) to initiate something, to start at individual and community levels. There are many parents who are extremely concerned about such frightening situation in our society.

For now we have to focus on the specific situation arising from the Nurin's case and I belief the parents have significant role to play as speaker and promoter of children safety even though it is very painful. I write this because of what one of the mother of an American soldier did in initiating a campaign against the Bush administration when her son was killed in the Iraqi war yet did not get satisfactory answer from the military.

Nevertheless, the degree of lackadaisical attitude of parents towards their children's welfare and safety is pretty high and I dare say scary. It is simply non-existence in some cases.

Nuraina, lets start something and as much as the politicians are loathsome and opportunistic at times, I for one, need to remind myself this is something that encompass everyone and require the participant of all level of society. But we can't wait for politicians or government with their misguided priority.

I think the first step to bring this NURIN ALERT modeled on the AMBER Alert is a good way to start. Of course, there is a lot more to do but let focus on what we can do for now.

Regards

PrincessJournals said...

bravo Nuraina! i can even feel the heat here.;) hopefully, with us pushing for it, Shahrizat and IGP will sit down and adopt this system, soon.
thanks for mentioning my blog.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

jediraj: it's confirmed.. the 4 suspects have been released,

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Princessjournals (Farina) : it is something concerned citizens like you and i and so many others feel strongly about because it is about saving lives in ways which we are able to help within our means and capacity. Whatever it takes.

I'd like to thank you for bringing our attention to amber alert. and certainly, mentioning your blog was the natural thing to do.

take care

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Hey Tembam -- YOU rock! you really do. thanks for following up on amber alert with gusto!

mekyam said...

Dear Ena,

Adding my YES TO NURIN ALERT!

And a great big SYABAS to you, Tembam and Princessjournals and Rocky for leading the way and vigourously pursuing for the adoption of Amber Alert.

What better way to honour the memory of little Nurin Jaslin than to ensure the safety of other young innocents.

Action will at least take away our frustration at being so helpless. Let us know how we blog readers can help... signature campaign etc.

Moses Foo said...

Nuraina,

Anon 12:15am has a point that calling the whole alert thing as Nurin Alert is painful to the parents.

The parents consent and willingness for this initiative is necessary. Before we rush in using their daughter name we ought to give them time and space to come to term with their loss and grief.

In the meantime we can use another name first like Malaysian Citizen Initiative for Safe Children Alert, shorten to My Safe Child. This is just a proposal.

Thank you and regards.

Tembam said...

Hi guys, the postings in response to the Nurin Alert here are fantastic. I can see that those who agree have done some reading about it. Not another knee jerk reaction. Yes, lets keep going till someone does something about. But, Indeed, Moses the lackadaisical attitude is a throwback to the good all kampung days. We gotta realise times have changed and soceity along with it. I've never done anything like this before and putting my full support behind Nuraina, Princess Journals, Rocky and everyone else to publicise the need for this. Frankly, citizens can only do so much. We need the might, and now the technology, of the Police and all the enforcement agencies behind this. It is a matter of urgency to rescue an abducted very young child as soon as possible. While missing children of any age is equally important, children below 10 are most helpless. Let's narrow it down and not try to save the world. Only to prevent another Nurin.

Moses Loo, if you read the story of Megan Kanka on my blog, you will realise if the child's name is commemorated for a good cause, the parents will know their child di not die in vain. Nurin;s uncle also supports this call. Let's all have a positive perspective on this. There is too much cynicism in this world. God blessed us with all the little inncocent children so we could see all the many wonderful things in life. Yet we desecrate even the little children. I am an eternal optimist and, Gow willing, will remain so. Cheers.

Fara Zahri said...

i think i have to agree with Moses here. Despites our noble intention to have it named in favor of Nurin, ethically, we still have to seek her parents consents. They are at their most fragile stage which can lead to breakdown anytime.

Temporarily, we can name it something else, like what Moses had suggested.

Cheers.

Moses Foo said...

Hello Tembam,

I have no problem calling it as Nurin Alert but bearing in mind that the parents consent is still important. We may have good intention but let us not rush into it first. Like I have written, we can call it by another name first and as we develop more substance to this desire to secure our children, and when the parents are ready then we can name it in their child's honour. Let us give them some space to grieve first. I will go as far as to say that we can only use Nurin's name when they have given their written consent. This would be my way of respecting them in their sorrow. In fact, I would hope that the parents will be the one to officially launch such program instead of some politicians.

Yes, citizens can only do so much. In fact we need the participant of every level of society; government, law enforcement agency, media, civil societies, NGOs, ordinary citizens, corporate bodies, politician, technology, administrative action and so on. This required a very big mental change in our Malaysian society and its people to do so but one that we have to undergo to create a civil, and secure society for all.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it takes bloggers to come up with a system ! Government ????? ok better not say anything:)

Ms Ina, I went with few gfs on Saturday night to Chow Kit Road(my first time out to that area) to purchase some crockery at a shop there. I saw at least 2 stalls manned by children under 12 years old and even I now a full grown woman was not comfortable in that area. It was so dodgy.

I wonder where were the parents of these kids? Why were they left on their own? Probably the parents left to get some 'makan'? but it was already 9pm by then and they would have break their fast by 7.30pm the latest! Didn't they read newspaper or watch TV to know what has happened to a young child recently?

So no matter what we come up with,parents have to be responsible for their kids foremost. Leaving young children to take care for their stalls at CHowKit is asking for dangerous acts to happen.

TIme for adults to grow up, be responsible , know where your kids are, take interest in their whereabouts. I have a child too and I am not perfect,but we have to be alert.

Honestly it made me angry seeing those kids on the street. When will we ever learn???? WHEN ?????
Sickening

Lily

Tembam said...

Moses Foo and Farah, your concerns are noted. Hope you visit www.nurinjazlin.blogpost.com has posted the idea for feedback. Most certainly all comments welcome. Glad you understand what it takes Moses. We don't want any NATO (No action, talk only) and we need the powers that be to come in and get the idea of the ground.

Think about it, all the ingredients are already there:
* the police and all their high tech equipment and manpower
* the concerned citizens.
* the media who are the real clincher in getting this to work.

Let's be aiming to rescue the child still alive than having to report sensational news after the fact. Then the media would truly have something to be proud of. All of us have been children, and/or will be parents and grandparents. We all stand to gain. We need to get a good start and fine tune as we get it going.

If bloggers come up with a doable idea to benefit everyone why not? It's not who thought of it or claims credit for it, it's what the country needs. The power of blogs is the freedom to say whatever we need to say to those who want to read us. Let's harness that power for the greater good. Cheers.

Tembam said...

Just a correction on the blog:

www.nurinjazlin.blogspot.com


Nuraina, your blog is redhot! It's been streaming referrals to my blog like nobody's business. But heck, this is everybody's business isn't it.The more people read about the Amber/Nurin Alert the more they will talk about it and hopefully, the more chances that they will do something about it. Take five sistah!

Jasni AJ said...

Hi Nuraina,

This is Jasni. Your initial idea for Nurin Alert is really gaining momentum.

Just can't wait to start the ball rolling.

What's next? Shall we meet up and strategise?

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Jasni,

yes...that's a good idea. This alert system, if introduced, can save lives.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Nuraina, please do the best, we support you...I miss Nurin Jazlin which I never meet..

Anonymous said...

Why is there no Amber Alert on the missing child from Kerinchi??