Keeping Our Children SAFE In Kuala Lumpurby Mamapumpkin
Posted on 16 May 2012
Keeping our children SAFE in Kuala Lumpur has been on my mind lately because over the last month, albeit mostly unreported, there have been several cases of attempted child abduction in various schools around Kuala Lumpur. This might sound shocking but it is true and the only reason these pieces of news surfaced in pockets is because an International School student, Nayati Moodliar, was abducted on that fateful day of 27th April 2012. He was snatched into a car which sped off whilst walking towards school. The news went viral.
Since then, mothers were on high alert and suddenly, every parent became paranoid about their children’s whereabouts. Rightfully so!
Kuala Lumpur is no longer safe for children so what can we do to protect our kids? Although Nayati Moodliar was lucky enough to be returned home, keeping our children SAFE in Kuala Lumpur should still be top priority. We cannot let our guards down.
Sometimes, kidnappers have an agenda. They want revenge for some reason or other or simply just want quick cash. However, sometimes there are other reasons for child abduction such as selling your child to slavery, child pornography or prostitution, or for the sale of his or her organs! These are carried out by syndicates that have groups in Asian countries, very close to home. Does it sound terrifying? Well, you should be terrified. No longer are days when you can allow your child to walk 30 metres away from you in a playground. As long as there is a quick access for an escape route, you’d better be on guard.
Usually, these people watch you for days before they plan their attack. However, you need to be aware of the ones who are out to attack children randomly in shopping malls or playgrounds with no specific plan of action, just opportunity. Whatever the case, both pose serious danger to your children for once your child is gone, you do not know if you would ever get him or her back. Rather than take the risk (and that includes leaving them under the ‘watchful’ eye of your maid), why not practise some strong preventive measures to minimise your vulnerability to potentially losing a child?
For us, we never leave our children with anyone if we can help it. At worst case, we’d leave them with my Mother for a maximum of a few hours, and even then, we advise them to stay home and not go out. It is just not safe and nobody protects your child the way a parent does. All it takes is a second. Someone who does not have experience with children could look away for 2 seconds to grab a CD and poof, the child is gone.
Whenever we go out, especially to a shopping mall, we never let go of our children. Not even for a second. The only time we let go of them is when we are seated in a restaurant or when we are inside a toilet cubicle. All other times will have my hand tightly gripped onto my child’s hand. We even have a certain grip. If you hold your child’s palm, the risk of pulling your child is far greater than if you held their wrist. Whenever we meet people we know at the mall, we still hold on to our children’s hands and only use our mouths to talk. I mean it.
Whenever we go to playgrounds or other public spaces where children are meant to run freely, that’s when our eyes come into play and we watch them like a hawk. We never let them go beyond 10 feet especially if there are other people around. This is the time to put the iPhone and Blackberries away. Completely. You have been warned. 3 seconds checking a phone message could cost you your child.
At school, we always make sure that our child is inside the school compound before we leave and we get up and go inside the school compound to get her as well. Children should not be walking outside school compounds without a guardian. It isn’t safe. We also keep our children mentally and spiritually close to us with a no secrets policy. They are not allowed to keep secrets for anyone and have learnt that sometimes people who are overly nice need to be watched and if there is anything or anyone that makes them feel scared, unsafe or uncomfortable, they are to tell me. Please teach your children that they should not be touched where they should not be touched.
Lastly, we should educate our children about safety and never to give out information to strangers. Define strangers. Things like where they live, where their parents work, their phone numbers; should all be kept private. Actually, the least you give out your personal information to people, the better because quite honestly, your own friend could be the one kidnapping your child next. Monitor your child’s online activity very stringently.
Playback with your children what they would do if someone suddenly took them. Teach them what they should do. And on top of that, make sure you are prepared but pray that it would never happen to you. Be prepared by having copies of your children in high resolution should you ever need to put his picture up. Keep numbers of teachers, friends and as many people as possible as you never know when you might need them.
Keeping our children safe in Kuala Lumpur should be a concerted effort and we should all look out for each other’s children. Ever since this piece of news surfaced, I have been praying every night that children around the world are safe, not just in Kuala Lumpur. Please keep your children safe.
I thank you.
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