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