Yesterday, a school in Kota Damansara received a call from a person claiming to be the father of a 7-year old female student. The man supposedly gave sufficient identification to convince the school staff of the authenticity of the call, resulting in the girl being held back from taking her normal school bus home.
At about 6pm, 2 hours after school ended, a concerned teacher at the school called the girl's father, a close friend of my wife's sister, to ask why his daughter had not been picked up. The father was shocked as he had not made the call...
The girl is safe, and the father agreed for the teacher to deliver her safely home. The father then lodged a police report at Pondok Polis Mutiara Damansara with my brother-in-law as a witness. The police report no is: KOTA DAMANSARA/000703/08
Some lessons to be learned here:
- Personal identification and details of parents and their children are not as private and privileged as we may believe in this day and age, where verbal confirmation by IC may no longer be sufficient to ensure a child's safety. Hence, any identity claims over the phone need to be verified with rigour; a call-back to registered phone numbers to confirm should be a minimum.
- The girl was saved thanks to the actions of the concerned teacher. This emphasises the role that schools, with both its teaching and non-teaching staff, must play to ensure the safety of our children. Yet again, it appears the teaching profession is burdened well beyond their collective pay, but I as a parent for one would pay with all my dignity in begging that they all be as vigilant as the teacher above when caring for my children.
- The scope of operations of such predators of our children appear not to be confined to the Wangsa Maju and Kampung Medan side of the city where Nurin and Sharlinie disappeared. They have now made a showing on the other side of KL. There are hence no 'safe areas' where we may relax our guard from the risks that are evident to children in KL today.
Please spread the word, and in doing so, pass the message that vigilance is paramount in keeping our children safe...