Saturday, September 22, 2007

Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, we can start working on how we can save the lives of children in future abduction cases.
While the police are hunting for Nurin Jazlin's murderer(s), we should be working on ways to save our children from sufferring the same fate as Nurin.
For as long as there are evil, sick and sadistic people in our midst, children are never ever safe from harm and brutality, and death.
What we can do is save them from harm and from possibly being killed, when they are abducted.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has vowed that a case such as Nurin's "won't happen again".
I'd like to know how she plans to prevent abducted children from being murdered.
The Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan has given us an indication of how those in power/authority prefer to deal with the situation.
Well, I am appalled. Haven't Nurin's parents paid the ultimate price (to quote Rocky's Bru) for their negligence? Haven't they been punished enough?
Blame the parents, by all means. But attempting to jail them under the Child Protection Act is going overboard.
Like a commentor (in my previous posting) said -- the charge won't stick, so why waste anyone's time.
Jazimin Abdul Jalil and Norazian Bistaman are not bad or abusive parents who had deliberately subjected Nurin to abuse, torture and subsequent death.
They did not leave her at home alone while they went away on holiday.
I remember such a case in the US in which a woman left her kids alone at home while she had a great holiday with her boyfriend in Hawaii. Her kids were starving. Luckily their grandma came a-visiting, saving them from further wasting away.

There are better and more effective ways to prevent another tragic case but you need to work a little harder and give more dedication and commitment to make it work.

Perhaps, Shahrizat's ministry could begin educating parents about the danger of allowing children to wander around in pasar malam, shopping complexes and other public places without adult company/supervision. That's a start if no such awareness campaign has been introduced.

But, here's a suggestion for a long-term measure that has proved successful in the US -- the AMBER Alert system.
This has been in place in that country since 1996 after nine year-old Amber Hagerman was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas. She was later found brutally murdered.

AMBER also stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.

This suggestion came in my earlier posting by a commentor who is now residing in California. She goes by the name Princessjournals. She appealed to the relevant authorities here, including the police, to adopt the system.
When she mentioned AMBER Alert, it rang a bell, as I have read something about it years ago.
So I googled it.
AMBER Alert is an early warning system to help find abducted children in which broadcasters team with the local police.

Read it here for a better understanding.

But here's a bit on it:
Once law enforcement has determined that a child has been abducted and the abduction meets AMBER Alert criteria, law enforcement notifies broadcasters and state transportation officials. AMBER Alerts interrupt regular programming and are broadcast on radio and television and on highway signs. AMBER Alerts can also be issued on lottery tickets, to wireless devices such as mobile phones, and over the Internet. Through the coordination of local, state and regional plans, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is working towards the creation of a seamless national network.

AMBER Alert has been very effective. AMBER Alert programs have helped save the lives of over 200 children nationwide.

Since it began in Dallas, other states and communities soon set up their own AMBER plans as the idea was adopted across the nation.

I don't know of any similar system in place in Malaysia. Obviously nothing remotely close to AMBER Alert was taking place throughout the 30 days Nurin went missing. I do remember radio dee jays and announcers informing and updating listeners on Nurin. But that was about all there was.

So, how about working on something like AMBER Alert, adapting it to Malaysia.

I know one thing - Nurin's senseless murder was not the first in Malaysia. We should (try our best to) make it the last.

11 comments:

Malaysian Unplug said...

Nuraina

The young can only be protected by a caring community.

When you see a young child alone, walking alone, or wandering alone in the mall, supermarkets or in the pasar malam, each and everyone of us should immediately be alarmed and to immediately take steps to ensure the child's safety.

In Australia, a little girl was abandoned in the Melbourne railway station by the father who took off to US. Concerned adults saw the child alone and immediately sought ways to secure the child's safety. It seems the father murdered her mother in Auckland NZ. Interpol is finding the father.

The point is we need to educate the citizens especially in the KL city, where we don't really care who our neighbours are, and to be honest, I think Malaysians have this less civic sense and community-responsibility.

When Malaysians see a lonely child crying in a mall, how many really take the trouble to help??

The police can only a crime, but it takes the community to PREVEBNT one.

In the case of Nurin, I cannot believe people cannot see the kidnapping of the girl in the van... surely somebody will have notice the peculiar situation and surely it is not in a lonely dark corner that she was kidnapped.

First of all, the police should reprioritised their responsibilities and not to spend time harassing and arresting bloggers and protecting crooked politicians or be on 24-hr on call for ruling political parties.

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

yes, agree with Malaysian Unplug but with just a little variation.

the community can do more to help prevent crime. key words here are "help prevent crime". and "community" involves the police. in the absence of the RT or any other form of vigilante corp, police presence is most effective as a deterrent. that is why gated communities have security guards on bikes, bicycles or even on foot making their rounds. their presence alone makes it harder for a crook to do stuff like carting away with your car tyres, stealing your manhole cover, pinching your Crocs, driving away with your car, breaking your home, etc.

i would like to suggest that the IGP bans all officers from looking out for motorists who use their phone while driving, do not wear seatbelts, mispark their cars, make illegal U-turns, and other traffic-related offences. a speed trap outside on the way to sri hartamas outside the SC building involves half a dozen men in blue who will contribute a lot more patrolling housing estates, night markets, and other public places.

ena, the Amber idea is excellent. if any of the cronies wants to make money out of this project, by all means. call it Nurin (instead of Amber) system ... perhaps it can stand for Nationwide Urgent Response Inter-Networks. or something like that.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Ladies,
Thank you for showing the Ministers the way. Methinks that is also THE way to go.
aMiR

Anonymous said...

Nuraina,

Thanks for the education on Amber Alert. Now why can't the Minister employ professionals like and foreign-based consultants like princessjournals to help make her ministry function better?

Got money not brains.

Hi&Lo said...

Nuraina,

Separate realities - one set for the elites and another for the humdrum who have to struggle to make ends meet and yet living conditions not conducive for a family.

Cannot imagine Malaysia turns out like this. We used to pride ourselves having safe environment.

I cannot bear anymore the blames on Nurin's parents. I myself can't come to terms with this tragedy what more her ibu and ayah.

I pray they have strength of faith to put this behind them. Let's not put more burden of guilt upon their shoulders. This is the least we can do.

Hi&Lo said...

Nuraina,

How are we going to allow children to grow up in a safe environment if by law they have to cling to their parents 24/7?

During our time, at age 7 or 8 we already went to school by bus by ourselves.

I blame the policing with wrong priorities. Emphasis more on clamping down opposition ceramahs than public safety.

Zawi said...

Ia that the best our no 1 cop can come up with? Duh... Anyway he has failed in keeping the general peace and order of this country. Dont expect too much from him.
My daughter recently had a minor car accident. She told me the other party was reluctant to make a police report and would prefer to repair his car on his own though the accident was entirely my daughter's fault. My daughter needed to make a police report in order to make an insurance claim to repair her car.
Do you know why the other party was reluctant to make a police report? He would be slapped with a compound of about RM300. What kind of law is that?
Now its going to be the same with Nurin's parents. Not only that he suffered the tragic loss of a child but also the prospect of being charge for negligence in taking care of his children.
Such is the laws of this country called Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember when I was that age cycling around the neighbourhood. Those were the good old days. Can't do it anymore. But what happened?
- bad city planning, over crowded and unsafe streets.
- bad country planning, everyone cramped in the city for jobs.
- bad policing, no structure to provide for decent and affordable childcare for working parents.
- bad economy, most families not only cannot live on 1 income but sometimes both parents need to work 2 jobs.
Everything is going bad. Quality of lifestyle going bad. (Of course this will not apply for a small percentage of the population living in mansions with their Lexus, drivers, maids & bodyguards.)
Why don't the Ministry send some people overseas and study how their keep their relatively safer for eg. Switzerland, Singapore. Be proactive Policy-makers of this country, you are not living off our taxes for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Nurin Alert suggested by one of your commentator sounds like a good idea. Perhaps you should get in touch with Nurin's uncle who already has the blog in her memory. Let's start something before another child falls victim.
If we were to wait for the civil servants to do it ... sigh. Remember Canny Ong, the girl was an adult, independant, smart, yet became a victim of such a monster too, and in one of the poshest shopping centres in the city. The civil servants said, yes yes more CCTV, blah blah blah and quickly
everything blows away with the next gust of wind. And these crimes continue to rise. Now they want to charge the parents, and then they will forget as soon as the weather changes. I say let's Charge the Police. For continuosly neglecting to do what they are contractually due to do - which is to protect us. Let's charge them for every single one of those henious crime that happened in a public place. Perhaps then we would believe "that won't happen again"

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Nuraina,

There is also this system in the States which they use in some burger/fast-food chains...What they do is, when a child enters the outlet with the parent/adult, the child and the parent/adult are stamped with this invisible thingy (kinda like a chop on the wrist)...

The great thing is, each child+parent's chop is unique (like a number, which both have)...

Before leaving, the hand whre they were chopped will have to be screened with this light of some sort (UV?) which will show the invisible chop.

If the number/code etc of adult and child does not match, they are not allowed to leave!

This is to make sure children do not simply follow somebody else home! It would also prevent kindapping, abduction etc...

Needless to say, children are not allowed to leave on their own, unaccompanied...

Would be great if such a system was in place in shopping malls and the like. Would have less chances of children going missing in crwoded areas, like Yin who walked out alone, or children being kidnapped and taken out of the complex...

Alot of Western countries also adopt the leash thingy, where parents attach a leash to their child (either around the waist or wrist)...I am sure if used here, people will say "Macam anjing"...

I dunno about you, but I would rather look like some mad, dog-treating person (hey, just because dogs are kept on leashes in public does not mean we treat them badly...most home dogs are treated like little kings!), then to lose my child in the crowd...

I like the Amber alert system, because we don't need to waste time doing banners and seeking approval to hang them along the highway (Interesting how Malaysians will use this to promote their company, like this banner was spnsored by so-and-so, as in Nurin's case)...

In the Amber alert, all highways will automatically show the child's picture, details and contact info on giant digital screens...

Tembam said...

I picked on your AMBER Alert and did some research and posted on my blog www.tembam.wordpress.com From what I've gather there is no such thing in place in Malaysia. Need to keep the idea alive until someone takes it up, maybe Sharizat?

Bernama report today:

Inquisitive Attitude Important to Check Crime
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 (Bernama) --Sophisticated communication technology tools cannot help resolve abduction and murder cases involving children if the society does not change its uncaring attitude, said Deputy Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said a person who is concerned with the problem of others should not be considered as being a busy-body.

"We live in a society where we just cannot ignore the problems faced by neighbours," he told reporters after opening the "Komunikasi 50 Tahun Merdeka" seminar here today.

Zahid was commenting on the media role and the effectiveness of communication tools including the short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS) in resolving the murder of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, 8, recently.

He said the media should be responsible in their reports and avoid sensationalism as the feelings of grieving family members should also be taken into account.

"Media reports can help the police and inform the public on the latest development of the case," he said.

Some 350 participants including students from the Modern Language and Communication Faculty of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and students from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) attended the one-day seminar.

-- BERNAMA