Please read Princess Journals, Ena Samad, and Tembam.
Nurin's tragic case had affected me in ways I had never imagined anything could. In my years as a journalist I have covered enough gruesome cases and many had left me reeling with anger and pain. I had spent sleepless nights thinking how the little girl must have suffered before death mercifully took her away, I thought about the anguish of her parents, the what if's and the why's that they must be asking themselves now. And how they must be missing their sweet little girl. It was as if, by feeling just a bit of the pain, I could relieve them of their pain, their sadness and sorrows.
Now, the whole nation, in the wake of the tragedy, is asking for answers and solutions. How do we keep our children safe from these faceless monsters.
I wrote this piece some years ago when Sarah Payne went missing one summer. Needless to say, she was found dead after being sexually abused. Sarah's case caused such a public outrage, not unlike what we are witnessing now.
"SUMMER'S finally here and so is the long awaited summer break. Our little Figos, Zidanes and Beckhams are itching to go to the green and try the feat they had watched their idols perform during the Euro 2000 championship.
Yet nine times out of 10, my own Figo in his dark blue and maroon strip is only allowed to play football on telly with his Play Station even though the sun is finally out and his friends are clamouring at the door.
It is safer that way.
And for the umpteenth time, I've said a firm no to my daughter who wanted to do the newspaper rounds to earn some money. It is safer to collect trays and wash dishes at a restaurant, I said.
The reason for my paranoia is simple. In my 20 years here, I have yet to enjoy a summer without reading stories of little children being snatched just outside their front door or the playground near the house.
Though some are found safe and sound, others were not that fortunate. When news broke out that an eight-year-old schoolgirl had gone missing after playing with her brothers in a cornfield near their grandparents' house, most of us feared the worse. We've read this story before.
Like others, a picture of sweetness and innocence smiles at us from recent school photographs distributed to the media.
In contrast, distraught and tear stained parents struggle before TV cameras to appeal to abductors to release their loved ones. A few days or weeks later, a naked body is found in a ditch or in an undergrowth somewhere, turning a missing person's investigation into a murder hunt. Same storyline. Only the names of the victims and the setting are different.
From Day One of Sarah Payne's disappearance, we shared the agonies and anxieties with her parents we only got to know from watching and listening to their desperate tearful pleas on the telly.
Everytime something like this happens, our own little children are deprived of their freedom because of our fear for their safety. For we know that children like little Sarah went missing not because she wanted space or wanted to join a cult somewhere.
She went missing because there are always some sick monsters looking out for innocent little children enjoying little pleasures in life, like playing in the field.
She went missing because she trusted a kind little stranger who had perhaps offered her a lift home or had asked her for directions.
The sad fact that little Sarah's body was found naked confirmed and in a way narrowed down the search for a culprit whose insatiable lust could only be temporarily satisfied by small defenceless children.
In the wake of this latest development, a British tabloid recently published a rogues gallery of known perverts with the question, "Does a monster live near you?"
I have never read this tabloid, which is popular for its scantily- attired babes, but the day it published the names and pictures, I couldn't resist scanning through the repulsive faces of those responsible for robbing children of their innocence, not to mention ruining their lives forever.
Like other parents, I wanted to know whether my children are safe playing football in the green or skateboarding down to the shop on their own.
The publication has led to several vigilantes taking the law in their own hands. A man was attacked in his home because he was suspected to be in the list.
Although it was a case of mistaken identity, I suspect other paedophiles must be living in fear. And quite rightly so too.
Because of their very existence, we teach our children fear, suspicion and distrust of everybody. A paedophile does not have his sickening hobbies etched on his forehead. So, how are we to know?
In the meantime, my little Figo implores that he is training to play football organised by the Metropolitan Police. I take comfort that in schools, police are making an effort to gain the trust of children.
Their regular visits to schools are most encouraging. So too are the warning letters from teachers of any unsavoury characters seen loitering at school gates.
Little Sarah's tragedy had affected everyone's lives. Strangers drove from far and wide to leave flowers and toys at the area where she was found.
A sea of flowers 8m deep now lined the narrow lane, the likes of which was only seen outside the gates of Princess Diana's
Meanwhile, the hunt for Sarah's killer goes on. Unfortunately, even if he is caught and thrown into jail, we can be sure that there are many others like him out there as we can be sure of another summer, another innocent child and another nightmare for parents. "
Sarah in Britain, Nurin in Malaysia and many more have been victims of these faceless monsters. Something must be done to protect our children. And yes, we must not forget little Madeleine MacCanne, who is still missing. Please keep her away from these monsters and return her to her parents.