KUALA LUMPUR: On average, two children under 18 went missing in Malaysia every day from 2021 to 2023. But thanks to police action, most were located or returned home on their own.

Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division chief assistant director ACP Siti Kamsiah Hassan told theSun police managed to find 709 missing children out of 779 reported cases last year.

“Between 2021 and 2023, 95.56% of 2,275 missing children cases were resolved. The number of cases rose from 594 in 2021 to 902 in 2022, and declined to 779 in 2023.”

She said most of the children reported missing left home after disagreements with family members, or the influence of friends or partners prompting them to be “independent”. However, they typically returned home of their own free will after realising their mistake.

“The efforts of parents, families and the local community in locating and assisting them also helped police ensure their safe return.

“However, despite our comprehensive search and tracing efforts, 4.44% of children are still missing, and we suspect some of them may have been involved in incidents like drowning in rivers or becoming lost in a jungle.”

She said most of the missing cases (65.45%) involved children running away from home, while 0.7% were cases were related to abductions by guardians.

“Children involved in accidents after going missing accounted for 3.38%, 4.31% fled from schools or shelters and 26.15% went missing for unknown reasons.”

Siti Kamsiah said Selangor, Kedah and Sabah recorded the highest number of missing children cases over the three years, while Kuala Lumpur recorded a successful recovery rate of 97.92%.

“Last year, Selangor had the highest number of cases at 167, but only 133 were resolved. This is a recovery rate of 79.64%, which is the lowest among the states. It also had the lowest rate of recoveries, with 89.60% out of the total of 423 cases.

“Following closely is Kedah with 257 reported cases and a success rate of 98.83%, while Sabah documented 221 cases (95.48% success). Perlis is the only state that successfully resolved all 36 reported cases since 2021.”

She also said of the missing children cases in 2021, 431 involved females while males accounted for 163 cases.

“In 2022, 693 cases involved females and 209 cases males. This continued into 2023, when females once again dominated with 561 cases, while males accounted for 218.”

Siti Kamsiah added that over the three years, 54.2% or 1,233 cases fell within the 13 to 15 years age group, while there were only 38 cases (1.67%) involving children below the age of six.

She said to date, there have been no reported cases of child abductions by syndicates or of Malaysian children being trafficked aboard.

“Cases investigated under section 363 of the Penal Code typically relate to the offence of kidnapping or abduction as it involves the illegal act of taking someone to hold them for ransom, posing a threat, or engaging in other illicit purposes.”

Siti Kamsiah said the National Urgent Response (NUR) alert system targets cases involving missing children under 12, with the information shared with 40 NUR alert task forces, comprising government and non-government entities.

“The Missing Children Portal System also provides information on those under 18 through the Official Missing Children Portal at https://knk2hilang.rmp.gov.my/, allowing the public to contribute information about the children by completing a form on the portal.”

Clickable Image
Clickable Image
Clickable Image