A total of 4,471 cases of missing children aged 18 and under were reported from 2017 to Sept 1 this year, says Deputy Home Minister I Ismail Mohamed Said.
He said based on police statistics, of the total, 4,399 children had been found while 72 are still missing.
As for cases of missing persons aged 18 and above, he said a total of 6,074 cases were reported in the same period with 4,871 found while 1,203 are still missing.
“Among the measures taken by the government to address this problem is to create a Missing Children Portal. The information is displayed on the portal https://knk2hilang.rmp.gov.my which can be accessed by the public.
“This portal provides an opportunity for the community to work together to track down missing children more quickly and effectively by channelling the latest information via the internet,” he said during the question-and-answer session at Dewan Negara today.
Ismail was responding to a question from senator Koh Nai Kwong who had asked for the statistics involving missing persons reported in the last five years, and steps taken by the government to address the problem.
Ismail said the police have also collaborated with 40 other agencies through the NUR Alert, which is an early warning system for missing children cases to assist law enforcement agencies in conducting investigations leading to speedy arrests.
“The police also collaborate with various parties in organising awareness programmes to prevent cases like these from recurring. The Child Awareness Campaign aims to provide awareness to the community that children are vulnerable and why it is important to ensure their safety,” he said.
Ismail said based on police investigations, some of the reasons for them going missing were that they had family problems or received less family attention; seeking more freedom to be friends or lovers; depression; senility; mental health issues or being involved in crime.
He said some also go missing after family misunderstandings, debts, and due to physical or mental abuse.