Deputy Home Minister Datuk Masir Kujat recently revealed that 1,803 children and teenagers were reported missing in the year 2016 alone
According to a report by Bernama yesterday, 15 November, out of 1,803, 979 were found while the remaining 824 are still missing.
Masir said that the numbers had increased in 2016, compared to 2015, when 1,782 went missing. 1,563 were found and 219 are still missing.
The numbers were even higher in 2014. A total of 2,015 children and teenagers were reported missing - 1,959 were found and 56 are still missing.
He said that the main cause of teenagers running away from home was to seek freedom, with 4,188 cases between 2013 and 2016
This was followed by running away from home to follow friends (1,330 cases), following lovers (1,025 cases), family misunderstandings (715 cases), lack of interest in studies (150 cases), employment (101 cases), custody disputes (64 cases), and lack of family attention (81 cases).
Masir revealed these details when responding to a question by Dr Izani Husin (PAS-Pengkalan Chepa) who requested for the statistics on children and teenagers running away from home from 2013 until 2016.
He said that the problem could be solved if parents kept a close watch on their children and forbade them from going out with strangers.
Stressing that parents should also monitor their children's social media usage and interactions on platforms such as Facebook, WeChat or WhatsApp, Masir explained that it's crucial for parents to steer their children away from unhealthy habits and instead emphasise on religious and moral education
It was also reported that in 2016, more female children and teenagers went missing (1,222) compared to males (581) under the age of 18.
Here are the figures, in terms of race, from 2013 until 2016:
- Malays (5,123)
- Other races (1,245)
- Indians (758)
- Chinese (528)