KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 3,937 children, aged between 6 to 18 years old, have been reported missing between 2014 until Jan this year, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Masir Kujat said the police have prioritised the cases of missing children as they could be linked to human trafficking.
"Based on police statistics, a total of 2015 children was reported missing in 2014, 1,782 cases reported in 2015 and 140 cases was reported as of Jan this year," he told Ahmad Lai Bujai (BN-Sibuti) during Question Time.
Ahmad Lai had asked the government to state the number of missing children cases nationwide and the state that recorded the highest number of cases.
Masir said Johor recorded the highest cases of missing children with 681 cases, followed by Selangor with 538 cases and Kedah with 474 cases during the same period.
"Based on gender, a total of 474 boys were reported missing in 2014, 457 in 2015 and 46 as of Jan this year.
"While, 1536 little girls were reported missing in 2014, 1310 cases last year and 94 cases as of Jan this year," he said.
According to him, from the total, 2,691 were Malay children, 241 involving Chinese children, 409 Indian children and 596 were from other races.
He also noted there could be various reasons that could contribute to the cases, including looking for freedom, a lack of interest in pursuing their studies, a lack of working opportunities, following their lovers and not enough attention from their families.Masir assured that the police would continue to find all of the missing children and would not simply declare them as dead.