Monday, January 14, 2008

Missing child alert system in place

KUALA LUMPUR: A system to immediately alert everyone when a missing child case is reported is already in place, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

She said this could be seen in the case of Sharlinie Mohd Nashar where various groups, including the media and the community, were coming together quickly to locate her.

“We are awaiting the Cabinet’s approval before formally implementing the system,” she said yesterday after launching a Nur Sejahtera health event at Desa Pantai flats in Pantai Dalam.

She was asked to comment on when a system such as the Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network (Nurin) Alert would be implemented to help locate missing children without delay.

The Nurin Alert was first suggested following the murder of eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin who was abducted and her body was found stuffed into a sports bag a month later last September.

Nurin’s uncle Jasni Abdul Jalil and several bloggers drafted a proposal on the Nurin Alert and submitted it to Shahrizat’s ministry late last year.

In the United States, the Amber (America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response) Alert is a warning system implemented to immediately trace missing children via a comprehensive network involving authorities and the community.

It was named after Amber Hagerman, nine, who was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996.

Shahrizat said lessons were learnt from Nurin’s case and efforts to locate Sharlinie started earlier, including the immediate distribution of posters.

“Police have also taken quicker action and there is more involvement from the community and non-governmental organisations.”

- The Star

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