Tuesday, December 23, 2008

IGP: New effort on Nurin video

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have not forgotten Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, the 8-year-old girl who was abducted and brutally murdered last year.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said yesterday police were relying on a new technological breakthrough for fresh leads in the case.

A new party had recently approached the force, offering its help to use the latest technology to enhance the images contained in an essential closed-circuit television camera recording.

"Previously, we had given the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation the recording of a motorcycle that was last seen at the place where Nurin's body was abandoned," he said.

"As you know, FBI's attempt to enhance clarity of the motorcycle's registration number was unsuccessful.

"But a new party has approached us offering help in doing the same thing, saying they have the latest technology to enhance the same image."

Speaking after opening the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry's campaign at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) here yesterday, Musa said the new party was expected to complete its work soon.

On the Ride for Change campaign undertaken by the Marginalised People's Network (Jerit), Musa described the participants as hypocrites.

"If you are fighting for democracy in a civilised nation and if you have a problem, then you should solve it through discussions, not through demonstration.

"For me, this is not democracy but 'democrazy'... crazy to hold demonstrations."

- New Straits Times

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

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.

On the task force investigating the alleged abuse of Penan women and girls, she said the outcome of the investigation would be made public next month.

"We'll leave no stone unturned. There is nothing to hide in this case.

"I will even go to the extent of saying that if we need to test the DNA of the child to find out who the father is, we will do that."

- New Straits Times

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A mother's agony

The New Straits Times carried the following article on 14th September 2008. Dearth of latest developements on Sharlinie and Asmawi, perhaps this article can remind us that there are more than the two missing children in Malaysia currently. One of them is Syed Ahmad Kushairi Syed Jamal.

FOUR years have passed since her son's disappearance but a 47-year-old hospital attendant doesn't let each black cross on the calendar break her spirits.

Mum Taj Bagam Ab Razak still hopes to see her son.

"Yes, I believe if he's alive, he will come back. I'm waiting for that day."

Casting a glance out of the window of her low-cost flat in Ampang, Mum Taj recounted the Saturday when her youngest son got lost.

"That time, it was like today. Raining. He was riding his bicycle."

The family, among the last to move out of the squatter area in Lembah Jaya Selatan, Ampang, was busy packing up when at 3pm, they realised something amiss.

Eight-year-old Syed Ahmad Kushairi Syed Jamal didn't respond to calls.

His eldest sister went out in search for him, only to find the boy's bicycle lying by a monsoon drain.

Kushairi was cycling a few metres away from home for half an hour. That was the last his family saw of him.

A missing child report was lodged, the Fire and Rescue Services Department came and went, and Mum Taj has seen more than 30 bomoh.

A rescue officer told Mum Taj that from his experience, the boy didn't fall into a drain.

"I believe him, because Kushairi is afraid of water. Even in Sunway Lagoon, he didn't want to mandi. He'd hold on tight to us when he had to cross over some drains.

"I also know my son didn't follow a stranger because he's shy. He doesn't talk, play or go near any stranger."

All the shamans, said Mum Taj, told her that her son is alive.

"They told me, saudara ambik. Saudara sakit hati. Budak itu di tangan orang. Siapa takde anak."

(A relative took him away because of angst. The child is in someone's hands. Someone who is childless.)

Even before this revelation, Mum Taj's instinct told her the same.

A few more reports were lodged, the case was reclassified as abduction. Mum Taj has provided fresh information from time to time.

Calls to the police for updates all these years were always met with the response that they are too busy to meet us.

"People tell me not to worry since the bomoh said my son is being taken care of by someone. It's easy for people to say that. But I cannot live like that."

Mum Taj, who has four other children, is constantly worried about her son's welfare.

She doesn't know how well her son is treated, whether he has enough to eat.

"There's nothing much we can do but wait.

"In my dreams, my son hugs us and cries. He scolds us, asking why we never came and looked for him. It breaks my heart."
- New Straits Times

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ketengah help for Sharlinie's family



















Mohd Nashar Mat Hussain and his wife Suraya Ahmad building their house. At right is their daughter Sharliena.

DUNGUN: The Central Terengganu Development Authority (Ketengah) will help complete the home of the family of Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, the girl who went missing from her home in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, earlier this year.

The family had moved here earlier this month to find peace and security and to start a new life, and Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said has ordered Ketengah to aid them.

The family is staying at Sharlinie's paternal grandfather's house while waiting for their new home to be completed.

"I hope Ketengah can help complete the house as soon as possible to help ease the family's burden," said Ahmad, who is also Ketengah's chairman.

He was speaking to reporters after visiting the family at Sharlinie's aunt's house in Kampung Padang Pulut. Also present was state Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Za'abar Mohd Adib.

Ahmad added Ketengah would also look into other ways to help the family.

Sharlinie went missing from her home in Taman Medan in Petaling Jaya on Jan 9.

Sharlinie's father, Mohd Nashar Mat Hussain, 29, said Hari Raya celebrations this year would be a quiet affair as Sharlinie was not around.

"She was the most cheerful and loved to go to the Ramadan bazaars. She would also drag her siblings along to go out," he said, adding that Sharlinie loved otak-otak, rendang and lemang.

Mohd Nasar said a bomoh he contacted two weeks ago told them that his daughter was still alive and was in the country.

- NST

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Murid tahun lima nyaris diculik



BANDAR KINRARA - Selepas negara ini digemparkan dengan tiga kes penculikan kanak-kanak di sekitar Kuala Lumpur, Selangor dan yang terbaru di Johor Bahru tahun ini, penduduk di sebuah pangsapuri kos rendah di sini pula gempar apabila seorang kanak-kanak lelaki nyaris diculik 9 September lalu.

Dalam kejadian kira-kira jam 7.13 malam, murid tahun lima dari sebuah sekolah berdekatan itu dikatakan sedang duduk bersendirian di tembok batu berdekatan pintu lif rumahnya.

Ibu mangsa yang enggan dikenali berkata, kejadian berlaku ketika umat Islam di negara ini sedang menunggu waktu berbuka puasa di rumah masing-masing.

Katanya, anaknya memaklumkan ketika duduk bersendirian di tembok batu itu, dia didatangi dua lelaki Melayu yang memeluk dari belakang dan memikulnya masuk ke dalam sebuah van berwarna putih.

Ujarnya lagi, dengan saiz tubuh badan yang kecil, kedua-dua lelaki itu dengan mudah mendukung anaknya dan menyumbatkannya ke dalam van menggunakan pintu belakang kenderaan itu.

“Dia yang tergamam dengan kejadian itu kemudian meronta-ronta di dalam van meminta dilepaskan tetapi permintaannya tidak diendahkan.

“Namun anak lelaki saya berjaya melepaskan diri apabila salah seorang daripada suspek memperlahankan van dipandunya kira-kira 100 meter dari tempat kejadian ketika melalui kawasan bazar Ramadan.

“Ketika salah seorang suspek memperlahankan kereta, anak saya yang berusia 11 tahun itu kemudian bertindak nekad membuka pintu tepi dan terus terjun keluar daripada van.

- Sinar Harian

Hiba Aidilfitri tanpa Nurin
















JAZIMIN dan keluarga menziarahi pusara Nurin di Gombak semalam.

KUALA LUMPUR - Luka di hati keluarga Allahyarham Nurin Jazlin Jazimin (gambar kecil) masih belum sembuh sungguhpun telah genap setahun kanak-kanak malang yang berumur sembilan tahun itu dibunuh secara kejam oleh manusia yang tidak berhati perut.

Bagi Jazimin Abdul Jalil, 34, dan isterinya Norazian Bistaman, 36, luka di hati mereka masih berdarah dan kenangan terhadap anak kedua mereka itu terus segar terutama dalam menjalani ibadah puasa dan menjelang sambutan Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Ini merupakan kali kedua mereka menyambut hari raya tanpa kehadiran seorang insan dalam keluarga yang bergelar 'Kak Ngah' di kalangan empat adik beradik itu.

Sungguhpun pahit untuk ditelan, namun bagi Jazimin, isteri serta tiga lagi anak mereka, terpaksa merelakan pemergian Nurin dan redha dengan ketentuan Ilahi.

Syawal yang bakal menjelang tidak lama lagi, seakan-akan mengingatkan kembali gelagat Nurin semasa berpuasa dan ketika membuat persiapan menyambut hari raya, kata Jazimin ketika ditemui di rumahnya di PPR Ayer Panas, Setapak di sini semalam.

"Kalau diikutkan hati memang kami tak sanggup untuk beraya dengan ketiadaan Nurin tetapi kami ada anak-anak lain yang masih memerlukan perhatian... takkan kami nak terus mengikut perasaan hingga mengabaikan mereka," katanya sambil merujuk kepada tiga anak mereka iaitu Nurin Jazira, 10, Nurin Jazlina, 7, dan Nurin Jazlisa, 2."

Isterinya pula berkata hanya baju raya tahun lepas kepunyaan puteri keduanya itu yang masih disimpan dan ianya menjadi pengubat kerinduan buat mereka sekeluarga.

"Sebelum arwah hilang, kami ada buatkan dua pasang baju kurung untuk dia.

Salah satu adalah kain pilihannya sendiri. Beria-ia sangat dia nak pakai... Tapi tak sangka pula dia tak sempat bergaya dengan baju kurungnya itu.

"Biarlah baju ini disimpan. Tak nak beri pada kak long (anaknya yang sulung) walaupun dia boleh pakai. Biarlah mereka pakai baju mereka sendiri," katanya. - Bernama (Published by Kosmo Online)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nurin Jazlin: One Year After


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 (Bernama) -- One year ago today the battered body of little nine-year old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin was found stuffed in a sports bag.

For her father, Jazimin Abdul Jalil, 34, and mother Norazian Bistaman, 36, the pain of losing for their second child lingers on as Hari Raya approaches.

This is the second time they commemorate the day without their second child nicknamed 'Kak Ngah'.

Nurin's parents and her three siblings have accepted her death as preordained by God.

Nevertheless, Hari Raya will bring back memories of her antics during the fasting month, said Jazimin when met by Bernama at his house at PPR Ayer Panas, Setapak here Wednesday.

"As parents, we do not feel we should be celebrating without Nurin. But we have other children who need our love, we should not go overboard with our grief that we ignore their needs," Jazimin said, referring to his surviving daughters Nurin Jazira, 10, Nurin Jazlina, 7, and Nurin Jazlisa, 2.

His wife has kept Nurin's last Hari Raya dress as remembrance.

Norazian recalled that Nurin liked to break her fast with Roti John (french bread with omelette and mincemeat) and kebab while her favourite Hari Raya dish was lemang (glutinous rice and coconut milk cooked in bamboo) and rendang (meat cooked in coconut milk and spices).

"I still remember that Nurin was the easiest to wake up for sahur (pre-dawn meal before fasting), Nurin's mother said while caressing her dress.

Jazimin said that this year, the family will celebrate Hari Raya on a moderate scale. They will pay a visit to Nurin's grave before going back to his wife's hometown in Selama, Perak.

When asked about the legal suit that he had filed against the Inspector-General of Police and the government for casting aspersions that his daughter's disappearance was due to his alleged dealings with loan sharks, Jazimin said he was still waiting for the outcome.

According to him, winning or losing is immaterial; what's important is that he clears his reputation.

"I ask that people do not make wild speculations whenever a child goes missing and put the blame solely on the parents, without knowing what actually transpired," he said.

On Aug 20, last year Nurin, a year-two student of Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Desa Setapak, was reported missing from her house in Section 1 Wangsa Maju.

Her body was found last year on this day, 27 days after her disappearance and post-mortem results indicated that she died as a result of sexual assault.

-- BERNAMA

This article is also carried in Malaysia Today and The Malaysian Insider. To read Malaysian Today readers' comments on the article, click here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sexual crimes a top priority


MALAYSIA: SEXUAL crimes amounted to less than one per cent of the total missing children cases in the last five years but the authorities are leaving no stones unturned in their quest to bring these criminals to book.

For the first time, psychological studies on sexual offenders against children, who are still at large, will be done.

Profiling is the process of identifying the offender by understanding the nature of the offence and the way it was carried out.

The profile includes the motives, physical attributes, personality and behavioural tendencies.

Police had also announced that a registry of convicted paedophiles would be maintained.

"The number of sexual cases may be low but the nature of the crime is serious.

"We hope to make some inroads into finding who Nurin's perpetrator was," said ACP Suguram Bibi Munshi Deen, head of the sexual crimes and children division.

The murder of 8-year-old sexual victim Nurin Jazlin Jazimin shocked the nation last year.

Her ravaged body was found stuffed in a sports bag a month after the abduction.

The police are also finalising a standard operating procedure on the response system to missing children reports.

They no longer turn away parents or guardians who lodge a report less than 24 hours after a child has gone missing.

Suguram advised parents or guardians to provide as much information as possible, including the kind of clothes the child was wearing and his/her photographs because the first 48 hours after a child is missing are crucial to his/her safety.

"It's important we get accurate information.

"We have to make decisions on whether the child has been abducted, lost, has gotten into an accident or if the parents are lying to hide a crime against the child."

Suguram said these new policies and practices were in the pipeline even before Nurin's case.

Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, 5, abducted early this year in a playground near her house in Petaling Jaya has yet to be found.

Cases on children who are still missing will not be closed but the police can "discontinue investigating temporarily until fresh leads appear".

Suguram urged parents not to lose hope and to keep providing police with information on the child.

- New Straits Times/Asia News Network

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Missing child warning system facing delay


HOW long does it take to set up a missing child warning system in Malaysia?

One year and counting.

This is not at all surprising, considering there is little concerted effort put together for a machinery to push forward such a plan.

Following the public uproar over Nurin Jazlin Jazimin's disappearance last year, the child's uncle, Jasni Abdul Jalil, and a group of concerned citizens proposed a nationwide urgent response information network alert system, codenamed Nurin Alert.

The idea is to have a mechanism to activate information on missing children so that it reaches the public in the shortest time possible.

Today, the responsibility to make the alert a reality is still being shuttled among the group, the police and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

Jasni wanted the police to take ownership of the system, but the police said it was the ministry's initiative.

The ministry, however, has said the alert doesn't fall "under its hands".

A year ago, the reception wasn't so, Jasni recalled. The proposal was successfully put forward to former minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Jasni said it was even incorporated into the drafting of the Child Protection Policy in the section on how to react to a missing child report.

Some ideas under the Nurin Alert were adopted during Sharlinie Mohd Nashar's disappearance, he said.

"When Sharlinie went missing, the authorities took the initiative to highlight the case and disseminate information to the public through TV stations and newspapers.

"If you go back to Nurin's time, that didn't happen. No attention was given. The news came out only after the third day. By then anything could have happened.

"But with Sharlinie, the reaction was instantaneous.

"We want a standard operating procedure on how the issue of missing children should be handled.

"We don't want it to be made based on discretion. It should be clearly laid out."

Part of the suggestions put up by the group is that in the event of a missing child report, the police would have to decide quickly whether to put out a nationwide information alert.

The Nurin Alert could be triggered, without the need for parents to approach the media for their case to be highlighted.

The authorities should act because they are in a better position to tell if the case deserves immediate public notification, said Jasni.

The criteria for raising a national alert, the group suggested, should be when the child is below 15 and when police have determined it has nothing to do with parental disputes and believe there's real danger involved.

Also in the proposal was for radio stations and public address systems in malls or mosques in the area where the child went missing to give a description of the child.

"The public can play their part. Maybe someone saw a child being snatched."
= NST Online

Sharlinie’s dad still hopeful she will return


Saturday September 13, 2008

DUNGUN: The father of missing five-year-old Sharlinie, still harbours belief that his daughter is alive and well.

Mohd Nashar Mat Hussein also believes his youngest child, who went missing in in Petaling Jaya on Jan 9, is still in the country.

“Yes, I received news from Petaling Jaya police a couple of months ago that they have obtained leads that my child is alive and still in the country. It’s only matter of time before our daughter will be reunited with us,” the father of three said after Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said visited him and presented Hari Raya aid to the family yesterday.

Mohd Nashar decided to move out from his rented house in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, and return to his family home in Kampung Padang Pulut here to get over the bitter episode. The family shifted here last week and are helping out at a food stall ope­rated by Mohd Nashar’s elder sister.

Mohd Nashar said another confirmation of his daughter’s wellbeing was given by a traditional medicine practitioner from Perak.

“He told us that Sharlinie is safe and would return to us very soon. It may sound ridiculous, but I am optimistic that my girl will be found,” he said.

Mohd Nashar said Sharlinie’s two other siblings, Nurul Amirah, 11, and Sharliena, eight, also miss their sister deeply.

“Buka puasa is a quiet affair for all of us and that why we decided to return to our hometown to erase the painful experience we endured when Sharlinie went missing,” he said.

He said Sharlinie often accompanied him to the Ramadan Bazaar at Taman Medan during the previous fasting month.

“This time she is not here. My wife (Suraya Ahmad, 28) is gloomy, she still can’t forget the episode,” he added.

“Maybe this Hari Raya will be a new beginning for my family with her returning very soon,” he said.

Earlier, Ahmad announced a Hari Raya gift for Mohd Nashar’s family. The state government has agreed to build them a new home.

The new house will be built on a plot of land owned by Mohd Nas-har’s father Mat Hussein Awang Kechik, 60.

- Star Online

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tinta: Jangan biarkan kes kanak-kanak hilang berulang


Oleh Fadzlena Jafar
fadzlena@bharian.com.my


Assalamualaikum

SALAM Ramadan! Kedatangan bulan mulia ini sememangnya sentiasa dinantikan masyarakat Islam di negara ini. Selain kehadiran pelbagai juadah enak yang boleh didapati di bazar Ramadan, bulan ini juga memberikan ruang untuk kita menambah amal ibadat.

Bagi yang sedang membuat persiapan Aidilfitri ini, pastikan semuanya berjalan lancar. Jangan kerana terlalu sibuk membeli-belah kelengkapan baru seperti baju, perabot ataupun kuih raya, anda lupa untuk menjaga keselamatan anak terutama jika berkunjung ke pusat beli-belah yang pastinya dibanjiri orang ramai yang turut membuat persiapan akhir.

Jadikan iktibar kehilangan kanak-kanak yang banyak dilaporkan sejak kebelakangan ini.

Jika anda masih ingat kes kehilangan kanak-kanak berusia lima tahun, Muhammad Nazrin Ghazali (kini tujuh tahun) di sebuah gedung beli-belah di ibu negara dua tahun lalu ketika keluarganya sibuk membeli-belah, seharusnya anda akan menjadi lebih berhati-hati.

Walaupun Muhammad Nazrin atau lebih dikenali sebagai Adik Yin, selamat ditemui, tempoh yang dilalui sepanjang beberapa minggu kehilangannya pasti menjadi pengalaman ‘menakutkan’ yang tidak mahu dilalui lagi oleh kedua-dua ibu bapanya.

Orang kata, anak bagaikan nadi kehidupan kita. Kehilangan mereka, tidak kira apa punca sekali pun, boleh menyebabkan seseorang itu berasa sebahagian daripada diri mereka turut mati. Tanyalah kepada ibu bapa yang pernah melalui pengalaman seperti Ghazali.

Saya pernah bertemu Ghazali dan isteri ketika mereka berkunjung ke pejabat Berita Harian sejurus penemuan kanak-kanak itu. Bagi mereka sejak kehilangan Adik Yin, setiap detik dirasakan begitu menyesakkan diri mengenangkan nasib anak yang hilang, entahkan hidup, entahkan mati.

Malah, setiap saat peristiwa itu bermain di fikiran mereka sehingga ada kalanya terdetik di hati, jika tidak datang ke gedung beli-belah itu mahupun Kuala Lumpur (keluarga Ghazali menetap di Perak), tidak mungkin peristiwa itu akan berlaku.

Apapun, bersyukur kerana nasib Adik Yin sudah diketahui. Bagaimana pula dengan adik Sharlinie dan Awi yang sehingga ke hari ini masih tidak ditemui? Jika masih hidup, di mana mereka, siapa yang menjaga? Namun, jika sebaliknya, tunjukkan kubur mereka.

Kehilangan dua kanak-kanak itu adalah antara puluhan atau ratusan kes yang sehingga hari ini masih tidak berjaya diselesaikan. Masih ingat lagi dengan kehilangan kanak-kanak berusia tujuh tahun, Tin Song Sheng yang dikatakan diculik di depan sekolahnya di Klang pada 12 Januari 1996. Kini sudah lebih 12 tahun Shong Sheng hilang, tetapi kehilangannya masih diratapi ibunya dan terus mengharap untuk menemui si kecil biar dalam keadaan apa sekali pun.

Ada pelbagai teori diketengahkan mengenai kehilangan kanak-kanak seperti mereka, antaranya digunakan sindiket untuk bekerja atau dijadikan peminta sedekah di negara asing terutama apabila heboh beberapa tahun lalu mengenai kelibat kanak-kanak itu yang dikatakan dilihat di selatan Thai sedang meminta sedekah. Tidak kira apapun punca kehilangan mereka, kita harap satu hari nanti mereka diketemukan semula dengan keluarga tersayang.

Justeru, pada Ramadan yang mulia ini jadikan kisah mereka sebagai peringatan penting terutama apabila membawa anak ke pusat beli-belah, lebih-lebih lagi menjelang lebaran, kebanyakan pusat beli-belah atau pasar raya penuh dengan orang ramai yang turut mempunyai tujuan sama seperti anda, menyediakan persiapan Aidilfitri.

Tetapi, bak kata orang, rambut sama hitam, hati lain-lain. Mungkin ada juga yang berniat jahat dan ingin mengambil kesempatan di tengah kesibukan menyediakan persiapan lebaran. Jadi, berhati-hatilah. Jangan biarkan peristiwa yang menghantui keluarga kanak-kanak Ghazali itu turut menghantui anda kelak.

Pada masa sama, marilah kita berdoa semoga Sharlinie dan Awi segera ditemui dan secara peribadi, saya harap kita turut mendoakan supaya pembunuh adik Nurin Jazlin Jazimin ditahan. Al-Fatihah untuk adik Nurin Jazlin!

- Berita Harian

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Keluarga Sharlinie sayu berbuka puasa


Oleh IRMAN HASHIM

DUNGUN 3 Sept. - Suasana sayu dan sepi tetap menyelubungi keluarga Mohd. Nashar Mat Hussein yang mula berbuka puasa di kampung mereka di sini, selepas meninggalkan tempat tinggal lama di ibu kota bagi mencari ketenangan sejak kehilangan Sharlinie lapan bulan lalu.

Namun tempat baru nampaknya tetap tidak mampu menghilangkan kerinduan keluarga ini terhadap keletah Sharlinie, 5, bersama dua kakaknya, Nurul Amirah, 11, dan Sharliena, 8, setiap kali waktu berbuka.

Mohd. Nashar, 29, berkata, anak bongsunya itu sering dibawa menemaninya membeli juadah berbuka puasa di pasar Ramadan berdekatan rumah mereka di Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya.

"Setiap kali, kami pergi membeli juadah berbuka puasa, Sharlinie akan meminta saya membeli otak-otak kegemarannya," katanya ketika ditemui di rumah ayahnya, Mat Hussein Awang Kechik, 60, di Kampung Bentong Padang Pulut di sini semalam.

Sharlinie diculik ketika dalam perjalanan pulang selepas bermain dengan kakaknya, Sharliena di padang permainan yang terletak kira-kira 200 meter dari rumah mereka di Taman Medan pada 9 Januari lalu.

Sejak itu, selain polis, pelbagai pihak termasuk media dan orang perseorangan menghulurkan bantuan mencarinya tetapi sehingga kini usaha itu masih gagal membuahkan hasil.

Mohd. Nashar mengambil keputusan untuk berpindah ke Dungun semalam selepas tidak sanggup berada di rumah sewa di Taman Medan ekoran kejadian penculikan itu.

Beliau berkata, Ramadan kali ini hanya disambut secara sederhana dan mereka sekeluarga masih tidak memikirkan persiapan Aidilfitri.

"Masih belum ada berita tentang penemuan Sharlinie sehingga ke hari ini tetapi kami masih bersemangat untuk mencarinya," katanya.

Beliau menaruh harapan dan berdoa agar anak bongsunya itu akan pulang sebelum Hari Raya Aidilfitri bagi mengembalikan keceriaan mereka sekeluarga.
- Utusan Online

Friday, September 5, 2008

‘Pulangkan anakku’

Oleh Mohd Nur Asnawi Daud
asnawi@hmetro.com.my


KUALA LUMPUR: “Saya mengharapkan Awi dipulangkan Ramadan ini. Semoga Aidilfitri nanti lebih bermakna buat kami sekeluarga,” rayu ibu Muhamad Asmawi Jalaludin, 11, kanak-kanak yang hilang di Pantai Dalam di sini, sejak 9 Mac lalu.

Rozita Mat Hassan, 50, berkata dia sekeluarga amat merindui Awi, apatah lagi ketika umat Islam sedang berpuasa apabila mengenangkan celotehnya menunaikan ibadat itu.

“Kalau bulan puasa, dialah yang paling gembira kerana sering diberikan wang oleh penduduk setempat yang sukakannya.

“Di bulan yang mulia ini, diharapkan terbukalah hati orang yang menyembunyikan anak bongsu saya itu supaya mengembalikannya ke pangkuan keluarga,” katanya ketika ditemui di rumahnya Jalan Pantai Permai 4, Pantai Dalam di sini, malam tadi.

Menurutnya, dia tetap berikhtiar menjejaki Awi walaupun operasi pihak berkuasa selama ini gagal menemuinya.

Dia tidak menyalahkan pihak polis kerana menyedari mereka sudah melakukan pelbagai usaha.

“Saya mengambil inisiatif sendiri, termasuk berjumpa pengamal perubatan tradisional. Walaupun terpaksa berhabis wang, saya tetap melakukannya kerana percaya Awi masih hidup,” katanya.

Kebanyakan pengamal perubatan tradisional memberitahu keluarga Rozita bahawa Awi disimpan atau dikurung orang tidak dikenali.

Malah, katanya, seorang bomoh turut memberitahu anaknya dipelihara seseorang dan tidak ingin melepaskan Awi kerana terlalu sayangkannya.

“Itu usaha saya dan ia akan tetap diteruskan selagi saya terdaya walaupun terpaksa bergolok bergadai.

“Naluri saya sebagai ibu kandungnya kuat mengatakan Awi masih hidup dan akan pulang satu hari nanti,” katanya.

Rozita yang sering menatap gambar dan pakaian anaknya bagi mengubati kerinduan, berkata Awi seorang yang ceria dan selalu melawak membuatkan dia sekeluarga terasa kehilangannya.

Dia turut bercadang pulang ke kampungnya di Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, bagi menenangkan fikiran selain melakukan ikhtiar lain bagi mengesan anaknya.

Ditanya mengenai perpindahan keluarga Sharlinie Mohd Nashar ke Dungun, Terengganu, dia terkejut apabila mengetahui perkembangan itu, namun faham dengan perasaan mereka dan alasan berbuat demikian.

“Saya dan keluarga Sharlinie saling mengenali antara satu sama lain dan kami saling kunjung-mengunjungi.

“Dulu, ketika Mohd Nashar pergi mencari Sharlinie di Indonesia dan Thailand, dia turut bawa bersama gambar Awi untuk dicari di sana.

“Malangnya usaha dan niatnya tidak kesampaian. Tidak langsung nampak kelibat kedua-dua kanak-kanak itu,” katanya.

Rozita berkata, dia juga pernah melahirkan hasrat kepada keluarga Mohd Nashar untuk berpindah ke kampung halamannya di Negeri Sembilan. Tapi mak cik tidak sangka pula mereka yang berpindah dulu,” kata Rozita sambil mengesat air mata.

Awi hilang selepas bermain bersama rakannya di taman permainan berhampiran rumahnya di Jalan Pantai Permai 4, Pantai Dalam di sini, 9 Mac lalu.

Dia hilang selepas berpisah dengan rakannya di satu persimpangan kira-kira 50 meter dari rumahnya jam 6.30 petang.

Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Daerah Brickfields, Asisten Komisioner Wan Abd Bari Wan Abd Khalid, berkata polis tidak pernah menutup siasatan kes kehilangan kanak-kanak berkenaan.

Menurutnya, pihak polis masih meneruskan usaha mengesan Awi.

“Kes diklasifikasi sebagai orang hilang dan tidak akan ditutup hingga proses mencari selesai sama ada Awi ditemui masih hidup atau sebaliknya.

“Buat masa ini, polis tidak mendapat maklumat baru,” katanya ketika dihubungi Harian Metro, malam tadi. - Harian Metro

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sharlinie's family seeks peace, hope in Dungun


PETALING JAYA: Although they now call Dungun, Terengganu, their home, Sharlinie Mohd Nashar's family has not given up hope of finding her.

A visit yesterday to the home of the 5-year-old girl, who has been missing since January, to find out how the family was coping proved to be futile as their neighbours in Taman Medan here said the family had moved to Terengganu on Sunday.

Contacted later by telephone, Sharlinie's father, Mohd Nashar Mat Hussain, 29, said the decision to move was not to forget the incident but instead for the family to seek peace and start a new life.

"Ramadan this year will be quiet without Sharlinie.

"That's why we decided to move and celebrate Ramadan in a village atmosphere that is peaceful and calm," he said.

The pressures of the higher cost of living in the city was also a reason why the family decided to move, he said, adding that he was still looking for a job to support his family.

He said memories of Sharlinie's antics when she followed him to the Ramadan bazaar still lingered in his mind.

"Her mother is still sad and both her sisters often ask 'when is Nini coming home ... we can celebrate Hari Raya together'.

"It breaks my heart."

Mohd Nashar said the family now lived at his father's house and Sharlinie's sisters, Nurul Amirah, 11 and Sharliena, 8, would begin studying at a new school in Dungun tomorrow.

"Our move may be temporary. We have not decided yet whether or not we want to stay here for good or return to Kuala Lumpur."

Sharlinie's mother, Suraya Ahmad, 28, said that she had never lost faith that her daughter would one day be found.

"During this month of Ramadan, we hope that Sharlinie will return.

"I hope that whoever took my daughter will give her back to us so that we can celebrate Hari Raya with Nini," she said.

Sharlinie was reported missing around 11.30am on Jan 9 while playing with her sister at a playground located 200 metres from their house in Taman Medan. -- Bernama

Monday, September 1, 2008

Preventing crimes against children

By Sekina Joseph

Some 242 children in Malaysia were reported missing between January and March, out of which only half have been found. So who do we blame -- the parents, police or stakeholders for not addressing the weaknesses and failures of the system?

Consider these cases: Nine-year-old Ang May Hong went missing on Apr. 12, 1987 while buying breakfast with her brother. She was later found dead and sexually abused near her home. On Dec. 10, 1995, Chai Sieu Chi, age 10 disappeared while playing not far from her home and is still missing. On Jan. 12, 1996, seven-year-old Tin Song Sheng was abducted outside his school and as rumors go, is handicapped and forced into begging in Thailand. In October 2000, six-year-old Nushuhada Burak was kidnapped on her way to a shop and later found raped and murdered in a rooftop water tank. On Jan. 28, 2004, Nurul Huda Abdul Ghani age 10 was abducted on her way home from a shop. Her naked body was found near an electric station guardhouse. She was gang raped, sodomized and strangled. On Aug. 20, 2007, Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, went missing on his way to a night market. The eight-year-old was found in a sports bag a month later, sexually assaulted and brutally murdered. On Jan. 9, 2008, Sharlinie Mohd Nasha, disappeared while playing with her eight year old sister at a playground near her house. The five-year-old is still missing. On Mar. 9, 2008, Mohd Asmawi Jalaludin disappeared on his way home from a playground near his house. The 11 year old has not been traced since.

Although the crime-solving rate of the police is about 40 percent higher than the Interpol benchmark of 20 percent, it has failed to solve a large number of cases related to crimes involving missing children.

The problem could be that the police are overworked and not adequately motivated. This might be due to the large number of cases and a shortage of manpower. I was told that sometimes they get around 11 cases at a time.

Police training needs to improve and must emphasize on people skills, which are important when dealing with victims and their families. This is also because they have to deal with child witnesses, which can hamper investigation as far as credibility goes.

While I believe that police are trained in investigative skills techniques, the problem may lie in their attitude towards the investigation process. For example, not being vigilant at the crime scene can result in missing crucial clues and evidence.

However, in cases involving missing minors, the blame cannot be put solely on the police, as the chances of solving such cases are low due to little or no evidence at the crime scene. Also, police have to rely heavily on leads from witnesses and most of the time from uncooperative members of the public. Therefore, prevention is more effective and the community should play a bigger and active role in this respect. Parents should ensure the safety of their children by not allowing them to roam in their neighborhoods, parks, playgrounds and markets without adequate supervision.

Posters of missing children and circulating pamphlets will not help a lot in alerting the public. Instead, creating more public awareness on these issues, training people, and galvanizing the support of various agencies like the police, the judiciary, welfare and social organizations and the Interpol can help prevent such crimes. Everybody in society should assume responsibility, understand their role and connect to the wider process of preventing crimes against children.

Our children are our legacy and a gift from God. As responsible adults and parents we must take good care of them.

We, as humans irrespective of being migrants, illegal entrants, refugees, locals or foreigners, deserve to live in dignity and enjoy inalienable rights recognized and respected by the State and its agents if we are to progress as a cultured, caring and sharing nation.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nurin pix culprit known ...... since November 2007

"THE authorities have identified the culprit responsible for circulating post-mortem pictures of child murder victim Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, Harian Metro reported.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted as saying that the case has been taken over by Bukit Aman.

Nurin’s father Jazimin Abdul Jalil, 34, had on Thursday filed a negligence suit against the police and Government over post-mortem photographs of his daughter appearing online." - Star Online


The above news items appeared at most other newspapers reporting Datuk Khalid's reaction on the suit filed by Jazimin last Thursday.

Ironically, such statement was actually made by none other than the Inspector General himself as early as November 3rd, 2007, almost TEN months ago.

To recap, here's the news item carried by Bernama on that particular day :-

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- The identity of the individual responsible for distributing the autopsy pictures of murdered Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, eight, has been identified and will be charged in court soon.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan who disclosed this Friday night, said the investigation had been completed.

"We have identified the person and he will be charged soon. We will inform the media when we are ready to charge him," he told reporters after a police Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the Police Training Centre here.

He said the police could not provide more details on the individual as investigations into Nurin's murder case were still ongoing.

The autopsy pictures of Nurin, a Year Two pupil of Sekolah Kebangsaan Desa Setapak who went missing in August and whose dead body was found stuffed in a sports bag in the PJS area on Sept 20, were widely distributed through the Internet last month.


Can anyone now blame Nurin's parents for filing the suit after such a long period of lull with no charges, no news after almost ten months! Put yourself in Nurin's parents shoes, only then you'll understand.

Jasni AJ

Khalid: We did our best in Nurin probe

SUBANG JAYA: The Selangor police chief yesterday said he was satisfied with the way his men had carried out the probe into the sexual assault and murder of 8-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin.

Responding to the civil suits filed by Nurin's father, Jazimin Abdul Jalil, last Thursday, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said: "My men have done their best in the investigation and I have no complaints. I am a bit disappointed by the suits but I will take them in stride."

Khalid said this after the launch of a crime-prevention seminar at a hotel here yesterday in conjunction with the National Crime Prevention Month.

"This is part and parcel of the job, and my men and I will not dwell on this matter.

"Nurin's case is still open.

"He has the right to file the civil suits but they will not discourage my men from carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

"Once the DNA Profiling Act is passed by Parliament, it will give a new dimension to the case."

The DNA Identification Bill 2008, in the pipeline since 2001, seeks to make the extraction of DNA samples from the accused compulsory in some instances.

On Thursday, Jazimin filed two suits against the police and the government at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry for negligence and defamation. The suits, which were filed through Messrs Akbardin & Co, coincided with the girl's one-year death anniversary.

Jazimin is suing the police and government over circulation of Nurin's post-mortem pictures over the Internet and on their alleged defamatory statements that he lost his daughter because of his alleged involvement with loan sharks.

The Inspector-General of Police, Selangor police chief, Petaling Jaya police chief and the government were named as defendants.

Jazimin, claimed that the defendants were negligent in allowing the photos to be circulated on the Internet which traumatised his family.

In the defamation suit, Jazimin sued the police and the government for RM2 million in general damages, exemplary and aggravated damages for tarnishing his reputation.

Nurin, a Year Two pupil of SK Desa Setapak, was abducted some 500m from her house in Section 1, Wangsa Maju on Aug 20 last year.

Her sexually ravaged body was found in a sports bag outside a shoplot in PJS 1, Petaling Jaya, 28 days later.

Khalid also voiced his concern that certain goldsmiths in the state had installed sub-standard surveillance equipment.

"Sometimes when a robbery occurs at a goldsmith and police review the closed-circuit television camera recordings to identify the suspects, the image is unclear or blurry.

"There were instances where there were no images at all."

Meanwhile, Nurin Jazlin's family held a prayer session yesterday to commemorate the first anniversary of her disappearance.

The prayer was held at the family's home at the Kampung Baru Air Panas flats in Setapak. It was attended by more than 250 people.

- Sunday Times

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kes Nurin Tidak Akan Ditutup Meskipun Bapanya Saman Polis


PETALING JAYA, 23 Ogos (Bernama) -- Polis tidak akan sesekali menghentikan siasatan kes pembunuhan Nurin Jazlin malahan akan terus memburu pembunuh kanak-kanak malang itu biarpun bapa kanak-kanak itu, Jazimin Abdul Jalil memfailkan saman terhadap pasukan polis.

Ketua Polis Selangor Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar menegaskan polis tidak akan menutup kes pembunuhan tersebut hanya kerana berhadapan dengan kes saman itu bahkan masih mengumpul bukti-bukti bagi mengesan penjenayah terbabit.

"Tanggungjawab pihak polis untuk mengesan penjenayah akan tetap diteruskan. Itu hak beliau untuk saman sekiranya berasakan kami bersalah.. sekiranya beliau tetap tidak berpuas hati.

"Apa yang saya boleh katakan, seluruh pasukan polis termasuk pegawai-pegawai saya sudah dan akan terus melakukan yang terbaik dalam mengesan pembunuh Nurin justeru tidak benarlah sekiranya polis dikatakan menghentikan siasatan," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri seminar pencegahan jenayah sempena Bulan Pencegahan Jenayah di sini Sabtu.

Beliau tidak menafikan timbul sedikit perasaan kecewa atas tindakan Jazimin memfailkan saman terhadap pasukan polis tetapi beliau menganggapnya sebagai asam garam dalam menjalankan tugas sebagai ketua polis.

"Saya sedikit kecewa tetapi ini tidak akan sesekali melemahkan semangat kami, kes saman menyaman saya lihat sebagai asam garam. Kalau kita nak fikirkan sangat pasal saman itu, nanti kerja lain pula yang tidak terbuat," katanya.

Ditanya mengenai penyebaran gambar autopsi Nurin, Khalid berkata polis sudah mengenalpasti individu yang terlibat tetapi enggan mengulas lanjut berikutan ia bukan di bawah bidang kuasa beliau.

"Kes berkenaan kini diambil alih Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen Bukit Aman dan ia kini terpulang kepada pegawai polis berkaitan (yang menyiasat kes itu) untuk mengambil tindakan selanjutnya," katanya.

Jazimin, 34, memfailkan dua saman terhadap polis dan kerajaan Malaysia pada Khamis lepas berhubung penyebaran gambar autopsi anaknya melalui internet dan pernyataan fitnah kononnya beliau kehilangan Nurin kerana terlibat dengan ceti haram, 'Ah Long'.

Pekerja di syarikat keselamatan itu memfailkan saman kecuaian dan saman fitnah di pejabat pendaftar Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil Kuala Lumpur dan menamakan Khalid selain Ketua Polis Negara, Ketua Polis Daerah Petaling Jaya dan Kerajaan Malaysia sebagai defendan.

Rabu lepas genap setahun kehilangan Nurin yang berlaku semasa kanak-kanak itu keluar seorang diri ke pasar malam berhampiran rumahnya di Seksyen 1, Wangsa Maju, sebelum mayatnya dijumpai pada 17 Sept tahun lepas di dalam beg sukan di Jalan PJS 1/48, Taman Petaling Utama, selepas 27 hari kehilangannya.

Khalid berkata pihaknya turut berharap supaya Rang Undang-Undang Identifikasi Asid Deoksiribonukleik (DNA) 2008 dapat diluluskan segera bagi memudahkan tangkapan penjenayah dilakukan terutamanya bagi kes jenayah yang sukar dikesan seperti rogol, rompakan bersenjata dan bunuh.

Sementara itu, beliau menasihatkan pemilik-pemilik premis perniagaan agar memasang kamera litar tertutup (CCTV) yang bermutu tinggi agar apabila sesuatu kejadian jenayah berlaku, suspek mudah dikenalpasti.

"Banyak premis terutamanya kedai emas memasang CCTV yang kualitinya rendah justeru rakaman imej menjadi kurang jelas dan ini menyukarkan kerja untuk mengecam suspek apabila berlaku sesuatu perkara yang tidak diingini," katanya.

- BERNAMA

Sekitar Majlis Tahlil Arwah Nurin Ulangtahun Pertama

Tanpa kita sedari, sudah genap setahun Arwah Nurin diculik. Petang Selasa 20 Ogos 2007 adalah kali terakhir ibubapanya melihat Nurin dalam keadaan hidup. 27 hari kemudian, mayatnya yang terkujur layu kesan penderaan telah dijumpainya dan setelah disahkan identiti mayat itu, akhirnya jenazahnya sempurna disemadikan.

Peristiwa yang menyayat hati ini pasti sudah sukar dilupakan. Bagi mengenang arwah Nurin, satu majlis tahlil sempena perginya Arwah Nurin selama setahun telah diadakan malam tadi.
Majlis yang hampir secara keseluruhannya dipenuhi oleh jiran-jiran setempat mengingatkan mereka betapa pentingnya memastikan keselamatan anak-anak mereka agar sentiasa terjamin kerana penjenayah tidak memilih mangsa. Yang pasti, anak siapapun boleh menjadi mangsa penjenayah gila ini.

Masyarakat mengetahui yang sehingga setakat ini, penjenayah itu masih belum dikenalpasti dan oleh itu ia mungkin sahaja berada dimana-mana, mencari mangsa barunya. Oleh itu, berwaspadalah. Jangan sekali-kali kita memikirkan yang malang tidak akan terjadi kepada kita kerana anggapan yang ianya hanya akan berlaku kepada ibubapa bermasalah sahaja, satu andaian yang mendorong Jazimin untuk mengambil tindakan saman terhadap pihak polis dan kerajaan Malaysia yang telah cuba memberikan sebab-sebab terjadinya tragedi Nurin di peringkat awal dan tidak pernah diperbetulkan sehingga hari ini.
Berbalik kepada majlis tahlil itu, para hadiran yang hampir mencecah 300 orang itu telah disajikan dengan jamuan tajaan Ali Maju Restoran, sebuah syarikat yang telah sentiasa menyokong ibubapa Nurin dalam mengharungi keperitan kehilangan anak mereka sejak dari awal lagi.

Semoga roh arwah Nurin sentiasa terpelihara. Amin.

Jasni AJ

Friday, August 22, 2008

Nurin Murder Case: Dead end at every turn for investigators


By : V. Shuman

KUALA LUMPUR: It was by far one of the largest police investigations and even included the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington.

But despite several arrests no one was charged with the abduction and murder of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin

The Year Two pupil of SK Desa Setapak was abducted some 500m from her house in Section 1, Wangsa Maju.

Her frantic family made numerous appeals to her abductors to free the girl as she suffered from hypertension and kidney ailments.

When Nurin did turn up 28 days after she went missing, it was in a sports bag left at the foot of a staircase in a shoplot in Petaling Jaya Selatan.

Police obtained the tape from a closed-circuit television camera from an adjacent shoplot, and released footage that showed a man arriving at the scene on a motorcycle, carrying a sports bag and leaving empty-handed.

The CCTV tape was sent to FBI headquarters to enhance the footage, but they could not obtain a clear image of the registration number of the suspect's motorcycle.

The closest thing to a lead from the tape was a blurry image of the suspect, which was released to the media.

Several days later, five people were picked up in several raids in Shah Alam and a watching nation thought justice would finally be served.

However, one of the five, a pregnant woman, was released soon after and the release of the four detained men would follow not much later.

Then, on Sept 29, an Indonesian woman was arrested when it was found that she had, in the preceding weeks, sent text messages to Nurin's father, claiming she had the girl. The woman, however, swallowed the subscriber identity module (SIM) card of the cell phone investigators thought contained evidence linking her with the murder.

Their hopes were dashed, however, when the SIM card, when it was finally flushed out, proved too damaged to have any data extracted.

The lack of evidence meant the foreign woman had to be released, albeit into the "care" of the Immigration Department as she had no valid travel documents.

On Oct 11, police released two more segments of the CCTV recordings showing three men in a Perodua Kenari and a woman wearing a red T-shirt and jeans.

The three men soon turned themselves in but were found to have not been involved in the case. The "woman" in the red T-shirt, meanwhile, turned out to be a 15-year-old girl, who was also released after questioning.

The search for the perpetrators continued as police promised they would not forget Nurin, but it was not until January this year that more arrests were made.

A security guard and a drug addict were picked up, but released four days later, even before their remand orders had expired.

Two months later, Federal CID director Datuk Bakri Zinin, while claiming that the file on Nurin was still open, added that police had failed to solve the case.

- The New Straits Times

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More details on Jazimin's Suit Against the Police : From Bernama News Report


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- Jazimin Abdul Jalil, father of Nurin Jazlin, who went missing and was later found murdered, filed two suits against the police and the government Thursday, for neligence and defamation.

The suits were over the circulation of pictures on the post-mortem on Nurin and the alleged defamatory statement that he lost his daughter because of involvement with "Ah Long" or loan sharks.

Jazimin, 34, filed the suits at the Civil High Court registry.

He is seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages, interest, cost and other reliefs deemed fit by the court in the negligence suit but did not specify the amount.

He named the Inspector-General of Police, Selangor police chief, Petaling Jaya district police chief and the government of Malaysia as defendants.

In the defamation suit, he is seeking RM2 million in general damages, exemplary and aggravated damages and damages for tarnishing his reputation.

He also wants an injunction to restrain the defendants from further spreading the alleged defamation, both orally and in writing in the media and an apology in the local newspapers and a withdrawal of the statement.

Jazimin's lawyer, Akberdin taking questions from journalists at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex (Photo : Jasni AJ)

Jazimin, who was present with his lawyer, Akbardin Abdul Kader, and brother, Jasni, named the Selangor police chief, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, Inspector-General of Police and the government as defendants in the defamation suit.

Nurin went missing on Aug 20 last year after she went to the night market near her home in Section 1, Wangsa Maju here. He body was found stuffed in a bag 27 days later.

Jazimin told reporters that he filed the suits to clear his name and correct the misconception given to the pulbic that he lost his second child because of dealings with loan sharks.

He was also disappointed with the police for their negligence which resulted in photos of the post-mortem on Nurin being circulated and questioned why no one had been charged so far.

Jazimin, a worker with a security company, claimed in the negiligence suit that several photos on the post-mortem, which he gave to the defendants for police investigation, were circulated to the public via e-mail in September last year.

He lodged a police report on Oct 9, asking the police to stop the circulation by whatever means because the photos were for police investigation into his daughter's abduction and murder.

- BERNAMA

Nurin's Father Has Right To Sue Police - CID Chief


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 (Bernama) -- Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Bakri Zinin said police cannot stop Jazimin Abdul Jalil, the father of murdered Nurin Jazlin from suing the force.

"If he sues the police, then we will study it. Sometimes, we too can make mistakes," he said when asked to comment on newspaper reports that Jazimin will file a civil suit against the police and government in the Kuala Lumpur High Court Thursday.

Reports said Jazimin would be asking for compensation and retraction of reports that implied he was involved with loans sharks (Ah Long) and an apology over the distribution of Nurin's post-mortem photographs.

Bakri said Nurin's family should not lay all blame on the police and that they were still collecting information to track down the murderers.

"We are not obliged to tell the family members what we do all the time as we have our own strategy in investigating the case."

He said police did not investigate based on emotion but according to needs and based on available proof adding it could not be solved without information form the public.

Nurin, 8, was found dead in a gym bag in front of a shop in Jalan PJS1, Petaling Jaya on Sept 17, 2007.

-- BERNAMA

EDITORIAL: Keep the candle lit


A YEAR after the abduction and murder of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, we must take pause to observe this sad anniversary in all sympathy for her bereaved family — as indeed for that of Sharlinie Nashar, lost in similar circumstances eight months ago and not yet found.

The contrasting fates of the children in these two cases raised the most awful conundrum: would it be kinder for such families to know their child is dead, to retrieve her remains for a proper burial in a consecrated grave where they might mourn and pray for her, or to never know what became of her, the better for hope to remain? Such unthinkable dilemmas are universal; the cases of Briton Madeleine McCann last year, American Jon- Benet Ramsey in 1996, and even the Azaria Chamberlain “dingo” case in Australia 28 years ago, all strike to the same depth of anguish.

It would be almost as cruel to suggest the police do not feel just as wretched at such cases as Nur in’s and Sharlinie’s. But when they have to admit total failure in their investigations, it’s entirely understandable for Nurin’s father Jazimin Jalil to chastise them for not having at least done what they could against those who so callously leaked his daughter’s autopsy pictures and distributed them over cellphones. The police can and should make an example of those who would draw salacious pleasure from such horrors, as some cold comfort to offset their failure to track down the monster who did what was done to that child.

Let the harsh lessons be learned. In the society we live in today, those who perpetrate the most heinous of crimes against children seem to have ample scope to simply vanish, either into the interstices of our own communities or over borders.

As in the case of the little boy, Mohd Nazrin Shamsul, who wandered away from a department store in Kuala Lumpur in March 2007 and was taken in by a Myanmar family for a fortnight, it is possible for massively publicised searches to go completely unnoticed by many who reside among us.

There was a happy ending for “Yin”, but not for Nurin or Ninie. Jazimin’s wish to set up an organisation to help victims of such crimes is laudable, not least for underscoring that citizens must take responsibility for their own children’s welfare, and not leave their protection entirely to the authorities. These childrenwere taken within metres of their homes. Vigilance, like charity, must therefore begin there.

- New Straits Times

Nurin Jazlin's father sues cops, govt

Thursday August 21, 2008 MYT 11:35:22 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Nurin Jazlin’s father Jazimin Abdul Jalil filed a defamation suit Thursday against the police and the Government for allegedly accusing him of borrowing money from Ah Long.

He also filed a negligence suit against both parties for allowing his daughter Nurin Jazlin’s post-mortem photos to be released online.

Both suits were filed 10.30am Thursday at the Jalan Duta High Court Civil Registry.

- Star Online

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One year on — and her killer still walks among us: Nurin’s family suing police...

By : Fadhal A Ghani

KUALA LUMPUR: A year ago today, Nurin Jazlin Jazimin was forcibly taken away from her family which started a saga which horrified the nation.

A month later, the sexually ravaged body of the eight-year-old was found in a sports bag outside a shoplot in PJS 1, Petaling Jaya.

It sparked a massive manhunt with a reward of more than RM20,000 offered for information leading to her killer's whereabouts. The reward and the manhunt yielded nothing.

Nurin's family, meanwhile, was subjected to more pain when a newspaper report stated that police were looking at the possibility that Nurin could have been taken away by loan sharks, implying that the family had dealings with Ah Long.

But the biggest blow came when post-mortem pictures of Nurin started circulating on the Internet. That, for the family, was the last straw.

After waiting for a year, the family has decided to fight back. Tomorrow, they will be filing a suit at the Kuala Lumpur High court against the police and the government.

They will be seeking damages, a public apology and retraction of the newspaper article linking the family with loan sharks. They are seeking an apology and damages for lack of security which led to the circulation of Nurin's post-mortem photographs.

Nurin's parents, Jazimin Abdul Jalil and Norazian Bistaman, yesterday expressed frustration over the whole episode.

"How can her post-mortem photographs be on the Internet? This was a police case, the photos are supposed to be confidential and classified," said an exasperated Jazimin.

"Haven't we suffered enough losing our daughter? Why put us through further misery by circulating her post-mortem photographs?"

The family is particularly upset that no one was charged with further violating Nurin's memory even though, at the height of the incident, police had claimed that the culprits were identified.

On Jazimin's alleged involvement with loan sharks, the father of three described the allegation as ridiculous.

"What Ah Long? I have never known or approached any loan shark," he said at his flat in Kampung Baru Air Panas, Setapak.

Jazimin claimed that, to further add insult to injury, he and his wife were even investigated for negligence.

Nurin was abducted when she was returning to her home in Section One, Wangsa Maju, after visiting a night market with her sister.

"Why were we investigated? Our daughter was abducted and murdered and they want to punish us."

Jazimin said he felt police had given up the search for his daughter's killer and had given up hope of positive news on the case.

"Does the task force still exist?" asked the father, refering to a special police squad initially set up to find the missing girl and later to investigate her murder.

Jazimin, however, was thankful for the support and help given by the public and has set up a security firm to repay the public for their kindness.

"I want to do my part in ensuring no family will have to go through what we underwent in the past year."

Jazimin and his wife have three other daughters -- Nurin Jazshira, 10, Nurin Jazrina, seven, and Nurin Jazlisa, two.

They will be holding a kenduri soon to commemorate the first anniversary of Nurin's death.

- New Straits Times

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Still hopeful of finding Sharlinie



“WITHOUT Nini around, our house has been quiet. She was always chattering about one thing or another. She had just learnt how to talk, you see,” the voice of the clearly anguished mother trails off quietly.

It has been almost eight months since Suraya Ahmad, 28, last saw her daughter Nini, or Sharlinie Mohd Nashar. Nini, five, went missing while playing at a playground about 200m from her house in Taman Datuk Harun in Petaling Jaya in January.

Although their hope of finding her is fading fast, her family vows to never give up looking for her.

The terrifying tale of a 13-year old abducted girl who saw a picture of Sharlinie in the van she was held captive in before she escaped could not shatter their hope in getting their daughter back.

It was reported that five men in a van tried to abduct the Form One student while she was waiting at a bus stop near Sungai Kapar Indah in Klang more than a week ago.

The girl claimed that besides seeing Sharlinie's photograph in the van, there were also pictures of other young girls, some with faces marked with an “X”.


“We don't know if we will see her again and many have even told us that they think it is too late, she is already gone. But until a body is found, we will still hope and search for her where we can,” says her uncle Yazrin Abdul Aziz.

Waiting with hope: Suraya looking through Sharlinie’s new clothes from last Hari Raya with her daughters Nurul Amirah (left) and Sharliena. The family still hopes for the safe return of their youngest member.

He says that his family, especially Sharlinie's father Mohd Nashar, still go out to look for the missing girl.

“Her father will follow any lead he gets. He’s mostly been to pasar malams, parks and other public areas. Sometimes we get worried about him. He was the closest to Sharlinie, so he is really taking it very hard.”

He adds that Mohd Nashar even travelled to Surabaya, Indonesia, last April in search of his missing daughter. However, like all previous leads, it had led to nowhere.

Yazrin says his brother-in-law has fallen into a worrying routine.

“Previously, when he comes home from work, he will play with Sharlinie and the whole house will be filled by her laughter and squeals. Now he comes home and sits quietly in the corner, deep in thought.”

That is why the family hopes that members of the public will not lead them on any wild goose chases.

“We appreciate all the help and leads that people have offered but we hope people can be considerate and verify the leads before informing us or the police. It is hard on us and we are especially worried about her father. We are scared because we can see that it is slowly eating him up. He loves her so much,” he says.

According to Yazrin, information on the hotline has frittered down and the last time the family heard anything from the police was over two months ago.

“We don't blame the police for not solving the case; we understand that they are doing the best they can. It is just sometimes hard to keep faith when we don't hear anything from them.”

Sharlinie's disappearance has definitely taken a toll on the whole family but for now, says Yazrin, they can only hope and pray that they will get to see her again.

“We all miss her. Her sisters, Sharliena (eight) and Nurul Amirah (11), sometimes ask why she does not want to come home. I don't know what to say,” says Suraya.

“We appeal to those who have her to return her to us safely. We appeal to the public not to forget about Sharlinie and still keep an eye out for her. Please help us find her.”

- Sunday Star

Monday, August 11, 2008

The search must go on

Stories by HARIATI AZIZAN

Come Aug 20, it will be a year since Nurin Jazlin Jazimin was abducted and brutally murdered. The perpetrator has yet to be caught, and there are other cases of missing children that still remain unsolved.




SOMEONE knocked on my door and asked, 'Excuse me sir, have you seen this missing girl?' “ Jazimin Abdul Jalil wryly recalls the way police rallied to find his daughter Nurin Jazlin Jazimin when she first went missing.

They were conducting a house-to-house search for her, he says, and the cop at the door was earnest.

“I was so annoyed that I decided to play along. I said, ‘I don’t know, let me see the picture.' He showed me the picture and sure enough, it was my daughter. I told him, ‘Encik, ini anak saya. How were you briefed?’ He got very embarrassed and quickly apologised. He then said that he was new!”

Jazimin sighs.

Unfortunately, as we all know, the story did not end well. His little girl's naked body was found stuffed in a sports bag near a shoplot in Petaling Utama a month later. She had been cruelly assaulted. Now, almost a year after her abduction, her case remains unsolved.

Jazimin, a former taxi driver, shares that he was close to giving up on the police.

“We have not heard from the police for a while now. They have stopped updating us about any progress in the case. It sometimes seems like the case is closed and police are not bothered about justice,” he says stoically.

In April, the police assured that Nurin Jazlin's case, as well as that of Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, will not be closed even if it takes more than 20 years to solve.

CID chief Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin even assured that he was personally handling these cases.

Recently, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Noriah Kasnon told Parliament that about 242 children were reported missing between January and March, out of which only half have been found. Many more children who disappeared remain missing.

Says one parent, Tan Teng Hok, “Police say their crime-solving rate is about 40%, higher than the Interpol benchmark of 20%, but what I can see is that it has failed to resolve a large proportion of crimes, especially for cases of missing children and sexually-assaulted children. Nurin's case is still unsolved. Even with posters all around, Sharlinie has yet to be found.”

Tan says that the police rarely patrol round his housing area in Petaling Jaya.

“The only time you really see the police is when there are roadblocks or demonstrations,” he says.

Even at the Wangsa Maju pasar malam where Nurin Jazlin was abducted, police surveillance has dwindled.

Neighbourhood watch member Ramli Abdullah, 56, says police now patrol the pasar malam area only once a month.

“But we watch it every week and we also patrol the area every week. The good thing is parents are more vigilant and many do not allow their children to roam alone at the pasar malam,” he says.

Jazimin naturally is very frustrated with the lack of progress in his daughter's case.

“To a certain extent, I can understand why the police have not caught my daughter's murderer but there are times when I get very frustrated and lose confidence in the police investigation,” he says.

Force needs help

The crux of the problem is that the police are overworked and not motivated, says a former top cop who declines to be named.

Retired for a few years now, he shares that morale in the police force has declined steadily over the years.

“Many don't carry out proper investigations because they are overworked due to the personnel shortage in the force. Sometimes they get as many as 11 cases in one go,” he says.

The retired cop adds that police training in the country needs to be improved.

“One missing ingredient is people skills, which is important when we are dealing with victims and their families. For example, you need to update the victim's family of the progress from time to time,” he says.

Many police officers also do not have the skills to deal with witnesses, especially child witnesses, he says, and this can hamper the investigation.

On investigative skills, he shares that the police are trained in various techniques; the problem is their attitude in the investigation process.

“As a result they are not vigilant when they are sent to the crime scene and will miss on clues and evidence,” he says, adding that there is also a shortage of recruits who can think critically.

However, in cases of missing children, he says, sometimes the police cannot be blamed as the chances of solving the cases are lower because usually no evidence is left behind at the crime scene. Police thus have to rely on leads from witnesses and most of the time, uncooperative members of the public hamper their investigations, he adds.

As for sexual assault and murder cases like the Nurin Jazlin case, he says it proves how vital the DNA databank is if the police are to solve them.

“Police found the DNA of Nurin’s perpetrator but because we don't have a DNA databank, there is no way for us to find a match. Unless the police get new leads or suspects, it will be difficult to solve the case,” he says.

Protect And Save The Children Association director Madeleine Yong believes that the police are not to be solely blamed for the unsolved cases of crime against children, especially missing children.

“There isn't one person at fault; everyone is responsible. All those working within the system need to understand their role, and how it connects to the wider process. There needs to be better collaboration between the different agencies,” she says.

Yong cites the Nurin alert system as an example of a good inter-agency collaboration.

“The Nurin alert is a whole systemic effort. It's not just about putting up posters and sending out flyers. It was about training people on the issue and galvanising a whole network of agencies from the police, the judiciary, social welfare people to the Interpol,” she says.

Prevention is more effective, and for that the community needs to play a role too, she adds. Shahida Musa, executive secretary of the Malaysian Association for the Protection of Children (MAPC), concurs, adding that the crux of the issue is parents’ attitude towards the safety of their children.

“You see this area (where the MAPC office is located), we are supposed to have the Kampung Baru molester on the loose. Every day I look out the window and can see young children walking on their own. You tell me whose fault is it?”

Shahida accepts that there are various factors involved, particularly urban poverty, but parental negligence cannot be disregarded, she opines.

She is right, as a survey by this reporter around the so-called “hot areas” such as Kampung Baru and Taman Medan shows that parents are still allowing their young children to roam around their neighbourhood without supervision.

Many agree that it is time for stakeholders to address the weaknesses or failures of the system for the sake of the children.

Shahida opines that most government agencies dealing with children are in dire need of trained personnel.

“Take the Welfare Department, for example. The ratio of their staff is disproportionate to the number of people in their area and they will be responsible for everything from missing children and child abuse cases to fire, flood and other natural disasters,” she says.

”The more honest we are and the more we consolidate our resources and energy, the better we are able to protect our children,” Yong says.

- Sunday Star

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Autopsy Pictures’ Case : A Chronology

October 9th, 2007

· Autopsy pictures of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin were discovered to have been circulated through the internet and posted on several websites.
· Jazimin and his brothers lodged a Police Report at the Dang Wangi Police District Headquarters


The full story :

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 (Bernama) -- As news broke out Tuesday that autopsy pictures of murdered eight-year-old girl Nurin Jazlin Jazimin were posted on the Internet, police warned that stern action would be taken against anyone distributing such pictures.

Selangor Chief Police Officer Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, who was not amused by this latest twist in the bizarre murder, told Bernama: " I've seen the pictures posted via emails and have lodged a report.

"Investigations are underway under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and I warn those distributing such photographs to stop doing it or risk being prosecuted under the OSA or in possession of pornographic materials," he said.

" I'm directing this warning particularly to my own men (police) as they were the ones who had direct access to these photographs and those who are now in possession of such photographs," Khalid said.

Nurin was reported missing on August 20 after she had gone alone to a night market near her home in Wangsa Maju here.

On September 17, her nude body was found stuffed into a sports bag that was left in front of a shoplot in Petaling Jaya. A post-mortem revealed that she was sexually assaulted, with a brinjal and cucumber inserted into her private parts.

Police picked up five people, including a woman, in connection with the murder 10 days after the discovery of the body but only the woman is still under remand.

The four men were released four days later as DNA tests carried out on them did not match the foreign material found on Nurin's body.

Describing the distribution of the photographs as a despicable act, Khalid said others might also be in possession of such material.

Asked how many photographs could have been distributed on-line, he said: "There were many, more or less the whole set of photographs."

--BERNAMA


October 23rd , 2007
· The then Bukit Aman CID Chief stated that the case on the distribution of autopsy pictures may be completed within the next 2 weeks


The full story :

KUALA LUMPUR 23 Okt. – Polis yakin dapat menyelesaikan kes penyebaran gambar bedah siasat ke atas mayat kanak-kanak malang, Nurin Jazlin Jazmin, 8, dalam tempoh dua minggu lagi.

Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Bukit Aman, Datuk Christoper Wan Soo Kee berkata, polis telah meminta bantuan Pusat Keselamatan Siber Kebangsaan (CyberSecurity), Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) dan makmal forensik bagi membantu mengesan pihak yang menyebarkan gambar tersebut.

‘‘Polis sudah merekodkan keterangan beberapa pegawai polis berhubung isu penyebaran gambar bedah siasat ke atas mayat kanak-kanak malang.

‘‘Siasatan sedang dijalankan dan polis yakin akan dapat mencari orang yang menyebarkan gambar itu dalam tempoh terdekat,’’ katanya pada sidang akhbar di Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman di sini hari ini.

Gambar bedah siasat Nurin Jazlin, 8, dalam keadaan menyayat hati itu telah disebarkan oleh individu yang tidak bertanggungjawab melalui Internet dan khidmat pesanan ringkas (SMS) baru-baru ini.

Christoper memberitahu, beliau meminta orang ramai yang menerima gambar tersebut supaya membuangnya dan tidak menghantar kepada individu lain.

“Buanglah dan jangan sebarkan gambar tersebut bagi menghormati keluarga mangsa,” ujarnya.

Pada 9 Oktober lalu, Jazimin Abdul Jalil membuat laporan polis berhubung tindakan pihak tidak bertanggung jawab yang menyebarkan gambar proses bedah siasat mayat anaknya, Nurin Jazlin, 8, menerusi Internet dan SMS.

Jazimin membuat laporan itu di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Dang Wangi kira-kira pada pukul 9.40 malam dengan ditemani oleh sanak saudaranya.

- Utusan Malaysia


November 3rd, 2007
· The identity of the individual responsible for distributing the autopsy pictures of murdered Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, eight, has been identified and will be charged in court soon. - Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan

The full story :


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- The identity of the individual responsible for distributing the autopsy pictures of murdered Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, eight, has been identified and will be charged in court soon.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan who disclosed this Friday night, said the investigation had been completed.

"We have identified the person and he will be charged soon. We will inform the media when we are ready to charge him," he told reporters after a police Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the Police Training Centre here.

He said the police could not provide more details on the individual as investigations into Nurin's murder case were still ongoing.

The autopsy pictures of Nurin, a Year Two pupil of Sekolah Kebangsaan Desa Setapak who went missing in August and whose dead body was found stuffed in a sports bag in the PJS area on Sept 20, were widely distributed through the Internet last month.


AND NOW AUGUST 6TH, 2008, ALMOST TEN MONTHS SINCE THE POLICE REPORT WAS LODGED :

NO NEWS ON THE IDENTIFIED CULPRIT!
NO NEWS ON ANY CHARGES TO ANYONE!
SO WHAT’S GOING ON?



Jasni AJ

Sunday, August 3, 2008

CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN: Please ensure justice is done


By : D. PARAMALINGAM, Seri Kembangan, Selangor

I WOULD like to know what has happened to two unsolved cases involving two little girls -- Nurin Jazlin Jazimin and Sharlinie Mohd Nashar.

I can't help thinking that the preoccupation of the police with other issues recently has forced them to relegate these cases to the back burner.

Come Sept 17, it would be one year to the day since Nurin was kidnapped and murdered. The police have yet to find the person responsible for this heinous crime.

And it has been seven months since Sharlinie went missing. Have the police found her? The answers to these two questions is a big "no".

In fact, the police, quite understandably, probably decided to concentrate more on law-and-order problems associated with the March 8 general election than with finding the offenders or trying to solve these two cases.

The elections have come and gone. Nurin's murderer still remains at large. Sharlinie remains missing.

Now, the whole nation has been caught up with the mudslinging and power play between politicians, and Nurin and Sharlinie seem to have been forgotten.

As a father of two young children, I feel for the parents of these two young girls. I also constantly fear for the safety of my children.

Much as I understand the enormous strain under which our law-enforcement officers are working, I appeal to them to ensure that justice is done to Nurin and Sharlinie and those who care for them.

- New Straits Times

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Children's Safety Still A Cause For Concern

By Ir. Ahmad Jais Alias

Not long ago, the nation was jolted by several incidences of children gone missing, but how sure are we that our children are safe from harm's way nowadays?

Instances involving the disappearance of innicent juveniles like Nurin Jazlin, Sharlinie and Asmawi were given prominent media coverage, followed by intensive public campaigns and efforts taken by the community in trying to locate them.

However, over time, they have faded from public scrutiny and seemed to have been forgotten.

Consequently, a recent workshop on Child Protection and Safety Rights organised by the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia’s (IKIM) Counselling and Training Centre served as a gentle reminder on the need to ensure that our children are safe and protected at all times.

Among the issue raised during the workshop session was the extent and comprehensiveness to which the Child Protection law is being implemented in the country.

Laws to protect children were enacted in Malaysia as early as 1947 via the Children and Young Persons Act, Juvenile Court Act 1947, Women and Girls Protection Act 1973 and Child Protection Act 1991.

FINGERPOINTING

In keeping with development, the Children Act 2001 was enacted on Aug 1, 2002, to provide comprehensive protection for children in Malaysia.

Also known as Act 611, it streamlines all the relevant laws pertaining to the care, protection and rehabilitation of children, including provisions for related matters.

Among the responsibilities outlined by Act 611 is the role and responsibility of parents and guardians in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children under their care, their responsibility of reporting child abuse cases and the establishment of Juvenile Court.

But how effective can the Children Act 2001 be, if follow-up and enforcement measures are found wanting?

Whenever something untoward happens to a child, we often we see a lot of finger pointing going round among the parties concerned.

CHILDREN AT PLAY ARE UNSUPERVISED

Parents will put the blame squarely on the police and the relevant government agencies for any mishap that befall their children outside of the home environment, arguing that ensuring public safety and security should be the responsibility of the authorities.

The authorities on the other hand, will put the fault on the parents and society at large, for their ignorance and indiligence in allowing the child to be exposed to the threat of criminal elements, in the first place.

Generally, voluntary bodies like the Parents- Teachers Associations (PTAs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), teachers and parents themselves have not been able to come up with a concrete plan of action that would ensure the safety and protection of children under their ward.

Just take a stroll in any playground or open space, inevitably we are sure to come across children left playing or loitering around, left unattended and unsupervised by the adults who are responsible for their safety and wellbeing.

Leaving children to their own devices is fraught with danger as it exposes them to potential threats and harm from undesirable elements.

CARELESSNESS AND IGNORANCE

Then there are parents who get so engrossed with their shopping that they are oblivious to the fact that their children are no longer tagging along behind them. Recall how often we hear announcements requesting parents to collect their lost and bewildered offspring at the customer service counters in shopping centres.

Such incidences only reflect the carelessness and ignorance on the part of the parents concerned.

Parents should realise that their children have been entrusted upon them by the Almighty, as such they should carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.

Children have the right to receive love, care and affection from their parents or custodians, in addition to basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter. On top of that, they have the right to an education and spiritual guidance, in order to develop their human potentials.

SAFETY IN SCHOOL

But do all parents, especially those who are barely out of their teenage years, realise and understand all these things?

The question of children's safety in schools and daycare centres are often contentious. There seem to be a tendency for some parents to pass the buck to the school and teachers.

Such an attitude often cause misunderstanding between parents and teachers as to where their responsiblities towards the students should lie.

Teachers, who are already burdened by their Herculean workload, are now asked to ensure the safety of children in schools.

If a child were to get injured at school, these teachers face the threat of a legal action instituted by the child’s parents. This only serves to add pressure to an already emotive profession.

Thus, a better way to ensure the safety of children while they are at school needs to be looked into. The PTAs should play the intermediary in ensuring that children are safe whenever they in the confines of the school. But at home, the duty lies squarely on the parents’ shoulders.

The parents’ active involvement in PTA activities and school events would help foster better understanding between teachers and parents, and should be strongly encouraged.

COLLECTIVE AWARENESS

Another aspect that is frequently overlooked is that society at large, too some degree, is responsible for the general safety of children in their midst. This means that we should not turn a blind eye to the plight of a child who is in trouble, just because the child is not our's.

Thankfully, in light of the tragic disappearances, the spirit of public awareness on the need to look out for childrens' safety appears to be on the rise. NGOs, support groups and voluntary organisations of various nationalities have all jumped on the bandwagon in their effort to locate the missing children.

It is hoped that this is spirit of ‘togetherness’ is not a passing concern that would quickly dissipate once the episode has been concluded.

Ensuring the coordination between NGOs and members of the community must be one of the top priorities for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry. Those from all levels of society and every individual within the community must be roped in to ensure the safety of children in their midst.

If we want to avoid such tragedy from recurring, every one of us must join hands and collectively be the ‘eyes and ears’ for each other, in our effort to ensure the safety of all of our children.

Towards this end, IKIM’s effort at organising the workshop on Children's Right to Protection and Safety is certainly a step in the right direction.

(The writer is a Fellow Consultant at the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia’s (IKIM) Counselling and Training Centre)

- BERNAMA

Monday, July 14, 2008

Putting a face to the faceless


By CHIN MUI YOON

Using a fascinating blend of fine art and science, forensic artists can provide the crucial first step towards the apprehension of criminals.

THE Kampung Baru Molester, aka Catman. The kidnap and murder of eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jaziman. The kidnap of five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, who is, heartbreakingly, still missing....

“Stranger danger” is especially terrifying when it is the most vulnerable members of our society that are victimised.

When, at the height of the uproar over the Catman, the police released an image of a suspect, levels of paranoia actually eased a little – it always helps to put a face to a faceless terror, after all.

In the case of the Catman, though, what the cops released was not a photograph but a composite, a drawing made by combining photographs of different facial features until they resemble the suspect.

A police artist would have spent many patient hours with eye witnesses, teasing out their memories of the suspect to produce that composite drawing. But to no avail, it seems, because there has been no sign of the Catman since the drawing was released to the public via the media in January.

Such are the frustrations of police artists, arguably among the lesser known yet more fascinating members of most modern police forces.

But their careers can provide great rewards, too.

Karen T. Taylor, one of the world’s foremost forensic artists – and the one who wrote the book, literally, on the process – has this to share about her job:

“As an artist, I have known the greatest possible satisfaction, seeing the tangible real life effects my forensic art has had. On many occasions there have been phone calls to say, ‘You know that drawing you did (of that paedophile or murderer or rapist), well, we got him’.

“What could be better than that?”

Arresting a suspect based on a drawing is just the very first step in a long process of putting together crime scene evidence and witness testimony that will eventually put a criminal behind bars. But that composite drawing can be a crucial first step.

Says Inspector Jimbai Anak Bala, of the Criminal Investigation Department at Kuala Lumpur Police Headquarters: “A facial composite helps narrow the scope of suspects for us,” he says. “A composite released to the media can draw in suspects. People who may have chanced upon the criminal but didn’t realise it at the time may also recall what they’ve witnessed.”

Indeed, in the United States, many high-profile cases have been solved with help of police artists. One such case was the 1993 abduction, rape, and murder of pretty 12-year-old Polly Klaas who was snatched, shockingly, during a slumber party.

Sketch artist Jeanne Boylan helped draw a composite of the suspect from descriptions given by Klaas’ terrified friends. When Richard Allen Davis was arrested six weeks later at a routine police stop, he strongly resembled Boylan’s drawing. (Davis is currently on death row in California.)

Says Taylor, “For the forensic artist, one image can literally be responsible for the recovery of a precious stolen child, stopping a serial rapist or murderer, or providing closure for the family who has lost a loved one to homicide.

“It is an awesome responsibility? and one that wears on the heart and soul,” she shares in an e-mail interview with StarMag.

Taylor knows a little something about that wear and tear. She worked for 18 years with the Texas Department of Public Safety in America, building up a global reputation, writing the academic text in her field, Forensic Art and Illustration, and even having a character based on her on TV’s forensic series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (for which she is a consultant).

A passion for faces
When the Chicago police department could not identify the decayed body of a woman discovered in a dumpster, they turned to Taylor.

They sent her the Jane Doe’s skull, a hair sample, and autopsy photos.

With the skull on a stand, Taylor worked over several weeks, layering on clay – according to a technique she pioneered in the 1980s that is now commonly used around the globe – until she could put a face to the nameless victim.

Crucially, she noted glue and metal bands on the victim’s teeth, indicating that the victim had worn braces.

From the 3D model, Taylor produced a 2D sketch that was aired on the TV programme America’s Most Wanted (along with images of the 3D model) and published in a publication for dentists. That turned out to be the vital link: A dentist recognised the victim as his 17-year-old patient Marlaina Reed.

Taylor’s work had a striking likeness to the photo of the murdered teenager that was eventually obtained.

The “Chicago Jane Doe” case is just one among thousands in Taylor’s portfolio.

“Depicting faces has always been my passion,” she tells us. “I drew faces in childhood, attempted my first facial sculpture in high school, and continued the obsession throughout college.”

Taylor’s fascination for faces led her to the School of Fine Arts at the University of Texas and then the world-renowned Chelsea School of Fine Art in London. She later worked as a portrait sculptor for Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, further honing her skills in sculpting faces.

But it was in law enforcement that Taylor found her calling, and ended up working for almost two decades as a forensic artist in Texas.

In 1992, she was honoured as a Texas Woman of the Century and, in 2002, the International Association for Identification awarded her the John A. Dondero Award for “significant and valuable contribution in the area of identification and allied sciences”. Her book, Forensic Art and Illustration, is used as a textbook by practitioners globally.

To become an artist of crime

In a multi-ethnic country like Malaysia, forensic artists must consider issues of race or ancestry, not because of prejudice but simply as a potential means of specific physical description, Taylor points out.

“In my forensic art workshops, I teach students to focus on facial shapes, feature forms, and skin tones rather than attempting to ‘place labels’ on people,” she explains.

“Racial prejudice may sometimes play when people give descriptions of members of certain ethnic groups. It’s the artist’s job to deal with appearances not labels.”

Taylor believes that the forensic artist must blend skills in the fine arts with science.

And that you must never stop learning, ever. And you learn not just about your own field but as many other related fields as you can if you want to be the best possible police artist, she explains.

“Artists should strive to acquire various skills to do this work well, depending on the specific type of forensic art they practice.”

For instance:

·To produce accurate composite images, an artist would have to know the subtleties of how memory functions and learn interviewing techniques.

·To produce an image of an adult based on the picture of him/her as a child, the artist would have to know how faces generally develop and grow, ie craniofacial development.

·To update images of fugitives who have aged requires knowledge of craniofacial ageing.

·Producing a recognisable image from a dead body that has detriorated requires an understanding of post-mortem processes and what changes happen to the face after death.

· Reconstructing a face from a skull is perhaps the most arduous of the forensic arts; it involves aspects of anatomy, anthropology, and dentistry.

Most importantly, “Forensic artists should be capable of empathy for crime victims, both living and deceased”.

Leaving the heartache behind

Taylor is often asked how she deals with the skulls and the gross morgue work in her career.

Her answer is revealing of how much empathy plays a part in the field of forensic art.

“It has been easier for me to deal with a crime victim who is no longer suffering. It has, at times, been far more difficult to work with the living who are still in great emotional or physical pain,” she says.

After two decades of witnessing at first hand the heartache victims of violent crime and their families experience, Taylor is drawing away from forensic art and returning to being a portrait sculptor.

She now works as an independent contract artist out of her studio, Facial Images, in Austin, Texas.

“I’ve spent the past 20 years doing artwork to help capture the bad guys. Now I intend to spend the next 20 years commemorating the good guys and girls!” she says.

“My intent now is to use the skills with which I was blessed to create facial images that document the intelligence, goodness, and joy that a human face can hold.”

Among many successful projects is her work with the advisory group that developed the content of a hugely popular travelling exhibit called Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime created by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas.

For all her success, though, nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing that her craft has helped apprehend a criminal or bring closure to a grieving family.

Karen T. Taylor’s website is karenttaylor.com.

- Sunday Star