Thursday, 20 September 2007

2007 09: Do your bit – help find Nurin

The Star online. News. Opinion. Thursday September 20, 2007


TWO little girls have gripped the nation’s attention. One is lying nameless, battered and dead in the mortuary.

The other, the nation has not seen in life. But pictures of her cute face, her sweet smile and clear round eyes are piercing, searing an image of innocence in our minds.

Also, there is the worry about her health. Nurin Jazlin Jazimin has high blood pressure and needs medication, otherwise she can get a stroke.

There has been no inkling of where eight-year-old Nurin is despite a massive nationwide search since she went missing on Aug 20.

The SRK Desa Setapak pupil never returned home after going to the night market near her house in Wangsa Maju.

What happened to her? And to the little one who died such a horrible death? What about the 16 other kids under the age of nine who seemed to have “vanished” between January and July this year?

Stories about missing children, especially those abducted, have always tugged at the heartstrings of Malaysians.

We grieve along with the parents. We agonise over the safety of the missing children; we cringe at the thought that they may be hurt in terrible ways, or of them being smuggled out and forced to beg in neighbouring countries.

How we demand that these animals be caught, and sent to jail forever. In fact, under the law, killers must hang. The nation is seething with anger over the way the nameless girl was so brutally killed.

Sadly, she is not the first.

Remember Ang May Hong, Nurul Huda Abdul Ghani or Harirawati Saridi? They were also sexually assaulted and murdered.

May Hong, nine, was raped and strangled just 70m from her home in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur in 1987.

Harirawati, 10, was raped and murdered in Kota Kinabalu on Jan 19, 2004.

Nine days later, Nurul Huda, also 10, was raped by a security guard in the toilet of the guardpost of Kampung Pekajang in Johor, just 400m away from her house.

Each time there is such an incident, we get angry and demand action.

Let the same anger fire our determination to find Nurin. She does not deserve any other fate except to be safe in her parents’ arms again.

Every time a child goes missing, the media automatically goes into top gear, churning out as much information as possible.

When this happens, many groups come forward to aid the police by organising searches, distributing leaflets and offering monetary reward for information.

True, the number of missing children who remained lost far outnumber the ones found.
However, all of us doggedly hang on to cases with happy endings to keep us going through the anxious wait.

We constantly tell ourselves Nurin will be found.

After all, Mohd Nazrin Shamsul Ghazali, Ahmad Firdaus Hakim Sharizal and Nur Karmila Mohd Shah Nawas Nantha were reunited with their families.

Their names may not register but the way they went missing and the search for them gripped the nation.

Mohd Nazrin, or Yin, was the five-year-old boy from Ipoh who wandered off from his parents while shopping at Sogo on March 31.

He was found two weeks later. A Myanmar family had sheltered him. The foreign couple later surrendered Yin because they claimed they finally saw his “gone missing” poster. Friends, strangers, taxi drivers, corporate bodies had all chipped in to find Yin.

Ahmad Firdaus was the famous missing case in 2004. Then a six-month-old infant, he was abducted from his babysitter’s house in Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur by an Indonesian woman in August.

Taxi driver Jaaman Tamby Chik had seen a picture of Ahmad and a photo fit of the abductor on television. To his horror, the wanted people were guests in his house.

He immediately contacted the child’s father, Sahrizal Mariwan. The baby was reunited with the family some 30 hours later.

As for 10-month-old Karmila, the maid took her from the house in Port Klang.

An elderly couple later handed Karmila to the police a few days later in 2005.

In all these cases, Malaysians rallied around the distraught families after acting on information from the media. Eventually, it had been the kind Malaysians that tipped off the police.

As Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen put it: “Malaysia, rise to the occasion, live up to our reputation as caring nation. It is our duty to keep our children safe.

“If you see a terrified child in the arms of suspicious adults, reach out to the child. Or, if you see a child left alone on the streets, please help. The parents will be forever grateful because we choose to care.”

This Hari Raya, let it be a happy one for the Jazimin family.

Please help find Nurin.

2007 09: Children’s safety is parents’ prime responsibility

The Sun online. Speak Up! The Sun Says... Thu, 20 Sep 2007

The frequency of cases of children being sexually abused, especially after the body of a young girl was discovered in a bag in a Petaling Jaya shoplot on Monday, should be worrying, frightening and a cause of concern to everyone, particularly parents.

Evidently there are still beasts masquarading as men out there waiting to pounce on an unwary and unescorted child. There is no doubt that they are sick and have become beasts when they think nothing of sexually violating children whose safety and welfare are humanity’s responsibility.

But while we grieve for the poor unidentified child we cannot help but wonder why such depraved acts are still happening.

Of course the authorities can be criticised for allowing the system to foster such abominable creatures and the police for failing, however tough their crackdown, to spot and put them away.
But it is the parents who must bear the bulk of, if not all, the blame for their children being snatched away and abused. Images of mutilated and abused bodies of past victims found in guard houses, bushes and under bridges should remind them that the danger to their children is real.

Knowing the statistics and knowing that the beasts are out there waiting should be sufficient inducement for them to keep a watchful eye over their children and to monitor closely their whereabouts. There are no two ways about it.

2007 09: Gang-raped by friends after jam session

The Star online. News. Nation. Thursday September 20, 2007

JOHOR BARU: A 17-year-old girl who inhaled laughing gas while out with her friends was believed to have been gang-raped by three of them after she passed out.

The victim, a salesgirl, had been out on a jam session in the city and was on her way home with five of her friends.

Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Zainuddin Yaakob said the victim lost consciousness after two of her friends had been dropped off in Permas Jaya.

“She only suspected something amiss when she regained consciousness at around 1am and found herself lying undressed in the minivan they were travelling in,” he said of the incident that occurred on Sept 12.

ACP Zainuddin said that one of the youths with her then ordered her to dress, but refused to answer her repeated queries about what he had done to her.

Shortly after that, the three youths dropped her off at the Johor Jaya Square terminal.
Afraid to go home, she spent the night at her friend’s house and only lodged a police report on Sept 15.

ACP Zainuddin said an 18-year-old suspect who was arrested on Sept 15 had since been remanded.

“We are still looking for four others to assist investigations,” he said.
Those with information regarding the case have been urged to contact the police hotline at 07 2212 999.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

2007 09: The lost child – a common sight in shopping malls

The Star online. News. Nation. Wednesday September 19, 2007

PETALING JAYA: Children regularly get separated from their parents at shopping malls – and often, it is the case of adults allowing their children to wander off on their own.

But the child is usually reunited with the parents thanks to measures put in place by the management who are familiar with dealing with missing children cases.

1 Utama public relations executive Joey Choong said children seen without a guardian would be taken to the customer service counter.

“If parents come to us and report a missing child, our security guards will be alerted and will start looking for the child.

“If there’s a need, we also have recordings from the CCTV cameras which we can play back,” she said.

In the case of Muhammad Nazrin Shamsul Ghazali or Yin, five, the cameras helped in determining that a child had wandered out of the complex.

He was seen walking out of the Sogo department store in March and was missing for several days.

As an added precaution, Sunway Pyramid officials will question parents who show up to claim the child.

“A lost child will usually run to his or her parents as soon as they’re in sight but if we don’t see that happening, then we would be extra careful before handing the child over,” he said.

A representative from Sungei Wang Plaza said an announcement would be made every five minutes until the child is reunited with the parents.

“These cases don’t happen very often. Maybe only about two to three cases a month. It is more likely to happen during the festive season and school holidays,” she said.

Mid Valley Megamall assistant public relations manager Catherine Lim said about five cases of lost children were reported every month in the shopping mall.

“They’re not so much ‘missing’ children. Usually, it’s just a case of being separated from the parents,” she said.

In Penang, Gurney Plaza communications manager Pauline Teh said their security guards were trained to look out for children wandering aimlessly around the complex.

“We have a standard operating procedure when dealing with lost children. Once a lost child has been found, we will either take him or her to the information counter or security department and page for the parents,” she said.

2007 09: Nurin Jazlin among 17 children still on police list of missing persons

The Star online. News. Nation. Wednesday September 19, 2007

PETALING JAYA: As the anguish continues for Nurin Jazlin’s parents Jazimin Abdul Jalil and Norazian Bistaman, there are at least 16 other parents out there anxiously awaiting news of their missing children.

Nurin is among the 17 children under the age of nine – 10 boys and seven girls – on the police’s list of missing persons.

These children seem to have “vanished” between January and July this year, and have yet to be found. Some left their homes, and like Nurin, never returned. Others were lured away by friends.

They are among the 34 cases (under nine years old) reported to the police until July. Sixteen of the cases involve boys and 18 others are girls. Police have so far found six boys and 11 girls.

“There were other reasons as well, such as the children running away because they were not interested in studying anymore and wanted freedom.

“Many also cited being scolded by their parents and they felt their parents did not understand them, or they felt their parents did not care for them,” said CID director Commissioner Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee.

“But the main reason for the missing children was family dispute. Ten cases involved one parent taking away the child without informing the other after the couple divorced,” he said.

Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said society must accept that times have changed.
“We must re-look the value of trust. Urbanisation and progress bring development but also complicate society. We have all kinds of strangers around us and our children.

“The onus is on us, as parents, not to allow our children go out by themselves, even if it is to the grocery store. It is unfortunate, but we must also teach our children not to help strangers because the young ones are too innocent to differentiate between a ruse and a genuine cry for help,” said Dr Ng.

The Deputy Finance Minister said as harsh as it sounded, parents must also teach their children not to be trusting of strangers, teachers and even relatives.

“It has been proven that children have been terribly hurt by those closest to them. The bad person is not confined to the stranger on the street,” said Dr Ng.

She urged society to be caring enough to look out for all children.

“If you happen to come across a child in need, or one looking terrified as she is being held tightly by an adult, do not turn a blind eye, ask the child if he needs your help,” said Dr Ng.

Child psychologist and Suhakam commissioner Dr Chiam Heng Keng said adults could not expect children to have the ability to fend for themselves, or differentiate a “good” person from a “bad” one.

“Children below 10 are not mature enough to think rationally. In many advanced countries, the law forbids these children to be left alone at home or venture out on their own,” she said.

2007 09: Five remanded over molest

The Star online. News. Nation. Wednesday September 19, 2007

IPOH: Five men have been remanded for three days until tomorrow for kidnapping and molesting a 19-year-old girl.

District CID chief Deputy Supt S. Glenn Anthony said the five suspects, aged between 20 and 30, were picked up here on Monday.

He said investigation on the case was ongoing.

On Sept 13, the girl was taken on a terror ride from Tanjung Rambutan here, where she was believed to have been molested.

2007 09: Runaway girls return home

The Star online. News. Nation. Wednesday September 19, 2007


KUALA LUMPUR: They had people searching for them for more than 48 hours while they roamed more than 50km using public transport.

Yesterday, the three teens, Norashila Jaafar, Rosbazla Mohd Basri and Nursyakila Azlan, reported missing over the weekend, were reunited with their parents.

The search ended yesterday morning when Norashila called her mother to tell her she was under a bridge near Pantai Dalam here, more than 50km from her Bukit Beruntung home in Taman Bunga Raya.

Her grandfather, Othman Mohd Ali then went to get her with some friends.

Their families had lodged police reports and also had search parties out scouring the neighbouring areas and in Puchong Perdana after they received a telephone call from a man saying that the girls were there.

Rosbazla and Nursyakila were at a 24-hour cybercafe in Pantai Dalam after Norashila led the police to the building.

“My father nagged me. So, I decided to run away from home and the other two followed me,” she said when met by reporters at the Pantai police station.

Her parents Jaafar Abdullah, a driver, and trader Zaimah Othman were there to meet her. The parents and family members of Rosbazla and Nursyakila also waited for their daughters.

On Saturday night, Norashila, a student at SK Taman Bunga Raya 1, had told her parents that she was going for terawih prayers with her younger sibling.

She had taken RM50 belonging to her mother and her father’s mobile phone.

The next day, they took a KTM Komuter train from Rawang to the MidValley shopping mall, then a bus to Puchong Perdana and returned to MidValley later in the day where they met a boy, who was a friend of Nursyakila.

They then went to the cybercafe in Pantai Dalam via the KTM Komuter and spent the rest of their time there.

“We ate bread all the time. And we ran if we saw someone trying to follow us,” said Norashila.
At the police station yesterday, Zaimah, 34, was heard repeatedly asking her why she had run away.

The girls’ fathers said they did not face any problem with their daughters.

Norashila’s grandmother, Zainon Amoo, said she kept advising Jaafar and Zaimah not to pamper the child, adding that Norashila was given pocket money and almost anything she asked for.

Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Junaidi cautioned parents to watch over their children at all times.

“They might think running away is an outlet to calm down. So, parents should do something.”

2007 09: Child found sexually assaulted and killed

The Star online. News. Nation. Tuesday September 18, 2007


PETALING JAYA: She was just a little girl. But that did not stop some sick monster from killing her after sexually assaulting her.

Her naked body was stuffed into a sports bag and left at the staircase of a shop lot in PJS1/48 Petaling Utama yesterday.

There were bruises on her neck, suggesting that she may have been strangled. There were also bruises on her hands.

The girl, said to be between six and nine, was initially feared to be eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin who has been reported missing. But Nurin Jazlin’s parents, who rushed to the Hospital Kuala Lumpur mortuary, said it was not their daughter.

A supervisor with a book distributing company Cheng Yan Fang, 32, found the black-and-blue sports bag at 8.30am outside the premises. She thought the bag belonged to her employer who had just returned from Singapore.

Jack Yeoh Huat Lip, 51, the general manager of the company came in 30 minutes later and said the bag was not his.

When he opened it, he was horrified to see a pair of legs. He immediately called the police.

“Saturday was a half day and the office was closed yesterday,” Yeoh said, adding that the supervisor who left the office at 1pm on Saturday did not see anything near the staircase then.

Petaling Jaya police chief Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohd confirmed a post mortem report that the killer had placed a cucumber and a brinjal in the girl’s private parts.

“She must have endured so much pain before she died,” he said.

Police believe the girl, whose identity has not been ascertained, had been dead for more than six hours before her body was found.

Police are appealing to those with missing daughters to call the district police headquarters here at 03-79562222. No arrest has been made yet.


Women’s groups outraged over murder
The Star online. News. Nation. Tuesday September 18, 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: Women groups expressed outrage and shock over the brutal killing and sexual assault of a little girl whose body was found stuffed inside a sports bag in Petaling Utama.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah was shocked when contacted for a comment.

“I am just stunned. What about the family? How would they feel when they find out?” she said expressing her immediate concern.

“It is such a deliberate and cruel crime when we look at the circumstances of the case.

“Sexual assault and murder cases affecting young children are getting more and more prevalent, and we, the public must step up and help prevent such occurrences,” said Ivy.

She said that to achieve this, the public needed to be more aware and immediately report any suspicion of sexual abuse or violence to the authorities.

All Women’s Action Society (Awam) executive director Honey Tan urged the public to gather every resource to track down the killer.

Tan added that such violence was a worrying trend.

“Wemust start helping the people we know deal with their anxiety and stress, which would translate into violence,” she said.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil described the incident as a cruel and despicable act.

“The police must go all out in their investigations and bring the culprit to justice,” she said.

2007 09: Fate of killer teen on hold

The Star online. News. Courts. Tuesday September 18, 2007

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has reserved its judgment on the prosecution’s appeal against a Court of Appeal’s decision to release a teenager detained in prison at the pleasure of the King for the murder of his tuition teacher’s daughter five years ago.

Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, Court of Appeal president Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad, Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi said they needed time to deliberate the matter as it involved the Federal Constitution.

The same panel also dismissed Karpal Singh’s application to recuse the Chief Justice and Justice Zaki from hearing the appeal.

The boy, who turned 18 last month, was freed on July 25 because Malaysia has no law that can sentence a child convicted of murder.

In 2003, the High Court found the boy guilty of murdering the 11-year-old girl at her house here, by stabbing her 20 times and slashing her four times with a sharp object on May 30, 2002, and ordered him to be detained at the pleasure of the King. The boy was 12 when he killed the girl.

On July 12, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction but ruled that the sentencing was “unconstitutional” as Section 97(2) of the Child Act 2001, which provided for this sentence violated the doctrine of separation of powers by giving the Executive the judicial power to set the term to be served by a juvenile offender.

However, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail argued that the Child Act 2001 was validly passed by Parliament and the High Court could pass a sentence allowed by the law.
That law said the only sentence for a juvenile convicted of murder was that he or she would have to be detained at the pleasure of the King.

The boy’s counsel Karpal Singh, however, had argued that the country operated on the doctrine of the separation of powers and the Federal Constitution clearly set out the different roles of the legislative, executive and judiciary.

“There is constitutional guarantee of these arms being independent of each other and it is the doctrine of separation of powers which pervades in the parts and chapters adverted to.”
He added in this case, the offence for murder carried a death sentence, so it was not punishable by law, as Section 97(2) and 97(4) of the Child Act was void.

2007 09: Mum: Still no action after rape report lodged in 2001

The Star online. News. Courts. Saturday September 15, 2007


KUALA LUMPUR: The father of an eight-year-old rape victim lodged a report in July 2001 against her assailants but, until now, no one has been charged in court, the High Court heard.

The girl’s mother, who filed a suit against the police and the Government, testified yesterday that her husband had since been murdered while her elder son and she had been assaulted for refusing to withdraw the police report.

“The rape incident happened on July 12, 2001.

“Until today, my daughter has not gone to any court to testify about the rape,” she said.

Asked by her counsel M. Manoharan as to why police did not take any action, the 32-year-old mother of four said:

“I have asked the police about why there was no action taken against the suspects and they told me they had not caught anyone and investigations was still ongoing,” she said.

She said she could not understand why the suspects were not caught as they had repeatedly broken into her flat unit to harass her.

She said her husband had once quarrelled with a policeman at the Sentul police station about the lack of protection given to his family despite the continuous harassment by the suspects following the rape report.

“During the quarrel, the policeman tore the statement recorded from me while saying ‘You think we have nothing better to do?”‘

Earlier when cross-examined by senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh, the woman denied that she had concocted her story in court and in the 15 police reports lodged between July and October 2001.

The housewife said she had no choice but to sue the police who failed to protect her family after the rape report on July 12, 2001.

In the suit, she named two OCPDs, the city police chief, the Inspector-General of Police and the Government as defendants. She is seeking RM450,500 in special damages.

The defendants denied the allegations and claimed that police surveillance was carried out near her house for the purpose of protecting her and her family.

The hearing before Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat continues on Dec 5.