An average of four children went missing in Malaysia each day, The Star Online reported. The article mentioned more than half of the reported cases (427 cases) were of runaways.
The report also indicated that 447 of the cases were girls, whereas 276 were boys. Girls are more likely to be targeted by kidnappers, which pose other risks like rape and sex trade.
Moreover, a New Straits Times report revealed that most of the runaways are aged between 15 to 19 years old, with the youngest being 12. Upon questioning, peer pressure, following their partners, family misunderstanding and no interest in studies are the common responses by the runaways.
Report also said that it is likely children succumb to peer pressure, exposing themselves to criminal activities and drugs. Although the national dropout rate declined, it’s still a worrying matter for all parties involved.
Selangor has the highest number of missing children cases but the state also has the highest population of children in Malaysia. On the other hand, the children population in Sabah is higher than Johor, but has lesser number of missing children cases.
The Royal Malaysian Police Sexual, Women and Child Investigation division (D11) said; parents should not immediately blast their missing child’s information online, as it could risk the safety of the child if it truly is a kidnapping.
The most recent missing case is an eight-year-old boy named Muhammad Zahiruddin Putra Mohd Fauzi. He was reported missing since Monday after leaving his house to play with his friends in Bangi. As of today, search efforts by firemen and police yield no signs of the boy.
Source: Malaysia Indicator