Sunday, January 27, 2008

Stray Thoughts : It’s my daughter!


ANOTHER month, another missing child, and suddenly we’re all fired up again.

But this will probably wind down and we’ll go about our own business. Until the next missing child, that is.

Just before eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s battered body was found stuffed into a sports bag last September, when she was merely another missing child, The Star ran a story pointing out that she was just one among 17 children under the age of nine on the police’s list of missing persons who had vanished between January and July last year.

More children continued to disappear, the most recent being five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nashar.

So now the Nurin Alert emergency response plan is fast becoming a reality. The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has proposed a technical committee to come up with a Child Protection policy.

The Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation has recommended a “Child Watch” comprising government officials and representatives from non-govermental organisations that would work closely with law enforcement agencies to keep a closer watch on the safety of children.

But as an Interpol ( paper on missing children has noted, there is no specific law in Malaysia that governs the reporting and handling of cases of missing children. Malaysian police make inquiries on missing persons under Sections 3and 20 of the Police Act.

I think it’s past time for us to look at missing children as a national issue that requires a complete revamp and rethink of policy, people and processes, with a lot of emphasis on prevention. And I can probably make a good, reasoned argument for it too.

But to hell with reasoned arguments, because this time it’s personal.

It’s my daughter, you s.o.b.!

On a recent Sunday, my nine-year-old daughter received, on her handphone, an SMS which addressed her by name, and in a texting version of Bahasa Malaysia, asked her what she was doing, adding “abang rindu mu, bls yah,” or “I miss you, please reply.”

The kids were with their mother at the time, so she called up the number and asked the man who answered, who he was and why he was sending SMSes to our child.

It’s my daughter, you s.o.b.!

The man spoke in Malay, saying that it was probably just “the kids playing around.” Sure, could be. So my ex-wife asked, “What’s your name and what are your kids’ names? Do they go to school with my daughter?”

He hung up.

It’s my daughter, you s.o.b.!

She rang me and I immediately swung over, picked up the phone, told the kids to stay with their mother, and remembering stories of how child predators “groom” their prey by trying to engage them in conversation first, went to the nearest police station to lodge a report.

It’s my daughter, you s.o.b.!

I’m one of those lucky Malaysians, going by the number of complaints we receive in the press, who has had only good experiences with our men in blue. The ones I’ve met when lodging reports or being issued tickets have always been professional and polite.

A young corporal took down the details and helpfully wrote down the report for me. Then he asked, politely, what my purpose was in lodging this report.

The next morning, a sergeant contacted me and asked me to come over to the police station. He asked me for more information, briefed me on what they had done so far and what they were going to do next.

But he too, almost apologetically, asked me the purpose of my lodging this report.

With all the girl-children being abducted, you have to ask?

I want you to be as concerned as I am. I know you handle hundreds of cases a day, but I don’t care. When parents fear for their children, I want you to be just as concerned as they are.

Anyway, I told him, just as politely, that I wanted them to find out who this man was, how he got my daughter’s phone number, how he knew her name, and what his intention was in sending her that SMS message.

“And,” I added, no longer so polite, “I want you to warn him not to come anywhere near my children!”

What I really wanted to say was, I want you to find this s.o.b. and take him out of the gene pool.

I’m a single father of two very engaging girls. I don’t have to be reasonable. I don’t care about due process and the right of the individual and people being innocent until found guilty. Not when it comes to my little girls.

Find this s.o.b., and even if he was just trying to be funny and had no designs on my daughter, take him out of the gene pool for being stupid enough to try something like this.

Believe me, you’d be doing the human race a favour.

A. Asohan would have used an even stronger term than “s.o.b.”, but recognises this is a family paper after all. When he’s not worrying about his two daughters, he’s Editor, New Media, at The Star.

- Sunday Star


Unknown said...

The Police need to track this pervert down and grill him. The pervert can only have evil intentions and to know the child's name and hp number? There's really something wrong here! Of course when a police report is made, we want actions, LOCK the sicko up for all our sake.

Anak Perelih said...

That the standard of what we can get from our PDRM.. Polis Raja Di MAlaysia.... their main priority is to keep the safety of BN/UMNO in power than the citizens' safety.....
Look at how they reacted to Protes rally in KLCC last Saturday... more than 1000 personel was deployed there... if that the kind of force used in Nini case from the beginning.. welll Only Allah knows... maybe the girl might be safe already... Free our Police force from being a political tool of UMNO/BN and concentrate more on people safety...

Zulkifli said...

anak perlis...memang nampak sangat pun...nak buat cam na kan...tapi kes ni atleast laju sikit dari kes dulu

agree with mary kate lot of sicko out there and this is another one...track him down lock him up say like until he we an dour children can live happily ever after...

Syed Mohd. Aiman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Syed Mohd. Aiman said...

OMG, cant the police put some effort. You may not know this person has something evil under his sleeve. No offence i want to say this but Malaysian Police does not have the Telecomunication and Internet and Communication expert. Most of our criminals now are using cellphones, email and the internet to do their crime and uncivilise job. I used to have a fren who got threaten by a malaysian hacker if she goes online. If she doesnt obey him, he will do something bad to her. He even gave something like death threats. We should do something about this. Also our local univeristy should not encourage our IT students to be hackers. (there is a Local university who makes hackers and gives them competition)