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Wednesday December 19, 2012

Report missing children soon to enable fast rescue operation

Important message: Dr Robia (on stage, left) giving her speech on family safety in Tangkak. Important message: Dr Robia (on stage, left) giving her speech on family safety in Tangkak.

TANGKAK: Parents must lodge police reports as soon as they realised their children had gone missing, State Women, Family, Health and Community Development Committee chairman Dr Robia Kosai said.

Dr Robia said the fast move would enable the police to launch search and rescue operations immediately before anything serious happened to the children.

Speaking at a family safety forum here she said the number of children reported lost and missing in the state had raised concern among the authorities and families.

“We have about 279 children, mostly between 13 and 17 years old, missing in 2011 and another 50 up to April this year.

“We have yet to check how many have returned last year but for this year out of 50 reported missing, only 17 were found,” she said when launching the forum organised by the Johor Women Council here recently.

Dr Robia said studies also showed that many missing children or cases involving girls revealed that their abductors were those living near them (victims) or had known the victims or their families.

One example, she said was the case of Dirang, or Nurul Nadirah Abdullah, five, who went missing after going out to buy noodles in Johor Baru early this year.

She said the little girl was abducted, raped and burnt by her abductor, who also happened to live near her housing scheme.

She said parents and neighbours should also watch out for strangers who acted suspiciously in their neighbourhood and alert the police.

She also said if the suspicious characters had no bad intentions, the community could always say sorry but if they had bad intentions, police would handle them.

Dr Robia also advised the society to start ‘jaga tepi kain orang’ or be inquisitive of what others were doing to ensure the safety of the neighbourhood children.

“In the old days it was regarded as a bad habit to know what others were doing, but not today.

“Today, we all must be alert and know what and who our neighbours are and where our children are every minute,” she added.

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