Monday, March 12, 2012
Nurul Nadirah Was Murdered: Was NUR Alert Activated?
Farewell, sweet Nurul.
It is a sad day for us all. We have failed another child.
Little Nurul Nadirah Abdullah who went missing after she left her Seri Delima Flats in Seri Alam (Johor) is dead.
The charred remains that police found last week have been confirmed to be that of the 5 year-old
Here's the NST online report
Could we have prevented her brutal murder? I don't know. But I do know that as a community, we would have helped to look for her in whatever way we could. I'm sure the people of Johor were in one way or another involved in the search for Nurul.
An alert system to locate missing children called NUR (National Urgent Response) Alert is in place.
It was originally called NURIN (Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network) Alert after 8 year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin whose brutalized and crumpled body was found in a sports bag in front of a shoplot in PJS 1/48, Petaling Jaya, on Sept 17, nearly a month after, and far from where she had gone missing near her home in Section 1, Wangsa Maju on Aug 20.
NURIN Alert was an initiative (modelled on the highly successful AMBER Alert in the US) of a small group of bloggers after the rape/murder of Nurin.
Remember how Nurin's murder shocked the nation? Shocking too was the initial apathy of the police when Nurin's father, Jazimin Abdul Jalil appealed for help (after he had lodged a report).
So desperate was he that he approached the newspapers and television stations. That got the publicity for Nurin's case.
The idea to have NURIN Alert was for the swift mobilization of assistance from the community including the police and the media, in locating a missing child.
So that no parent would be rendered helpless in face of such an ordeal.
Anyway, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil finally submitted the proposal for an alert system for missing children to the cabinet which approved it in January last year.
It was renamed NUR Alert, in line with the ministry's brand and because, according to Shahrizat, Nurin's parents might feel offended (not true, at all) or other parents of missing children might feel slighted (oh well, what can I say?).
No matter, what's important is that an alert system and mechanism is now in place to save the lives of missing or abducted children.
According to experts, there is only one reason a child is abducted -- sexual, and if a child is not found within 48 hours, the chances are that he or she may not be alive after that. These days, there is also another reason -- human trafficking.
That is why NUR Alert can go a long way in helping to locate missing children.
But are the police fully utilizing the system?
I don't know. As in little Nurul's case, I was told that the police had sent out mmses. But I don't know whether the NUR Alert was activated and to what extent it was utilised.
Was the media swiftly alerted after it was confirmed that Nurul's disappearance was a bona fide misisng child case? Because that is the first thing they should do. Were the electronic screens and billboards used to disseminate Nurul's picture and details?
I do know that Nurul's parents put up and distributed posters of her. This is effective, to an extent but we have modern electronic and information systems to make things work faster.
It's the same with 7 year-0ld Wan Hazim Mohd Khadir who went missing from his home in Subang Indah last Friday. His parents put up and distributed posters of Hazim.
But the media was not alerted.
Thankfully, Hazim is now safely returned to his family.
My point is - I hope the police nationwide are aware of the NUR Alert and what it is for and how it should be fully utilized.
AMBER Alert has helped saved the lives of hundreds of missing children in the US. Similar mechanisms/systems have been adopted and adapted in other countries.
I'm sure cases of missing children are top priority for the police.
The NUR Alert works on the basis that we are all the eyes and ears as a community to help in cases of missing children.
We have failed Nurin. God knows where Sharlinie and Nisha are.
And now Nurul Nadirah. We hope her killer is caught.
God help our children, if we cannot....
I have said this many times. Take care of your children... Nurin's killer is still at large.