Tue, 29 Jul 2003

'Kidnappers are out of control and everywhere'

The ongoing kidnapping and murder cases, allegedly involving two brothers, have caught the attention of the public. The fact the kidnappers have not only demanded a ransom but have also brutally raped and murdered some of their prey, have shocked the nation. Some parents shared their views with The Jakarta Post.

Ningsih, 27, is a housewife who lives in Depok with her husband and two children:

Certainly, I am worried about the kidnapping gang. I read and watch on television how cruelly they tortured the children just to extort money from their parents.

Actually they target not only little girls but also boys. So, it is not impossible that they could also be brutally raped.

I'm afraid it could happen to my son. The kidnappers are out of control and operating everywhere.

I always tell my son before going to school to be wary of strangers approaching him or offering something. I tell him to run away or if it is possible to go home to call me as we live near his school.

I also worry every time my son goes for Koran recital at night because the mosque is quite far from our house and anything could happen, right? Well, if I can I will accompany him and pick him up after the recital.

Honestly, I can't stop worrying about the brutal kidnappers that could threaten any children in the city.

It's getting harder and harder now to find people we trust. Many criminal cases show that the bad guys are not always complete strangers. They are even part of our close families.

The only way is just to remain watchful of all people, including our relatives. We, as parents, should be sensitive to any suspicion, particularly those with unusual sexual tendencies.

Rini, 34, has just resigned from her job as a lecturer. She lives in Cibitung, Bekasi, with her husband and two children:

Well, as parents we can't deny our fears over the kidnappings.

My eldest daughter was just admitted to an elementary school this academic year. She is very active and talkative. She is also friendly, even with new people she has just met.

She is quite independent. I never take her to her kindergarten as she never wants me to be with her at school.

But now I have to take and wait for her until she finishes school. The school will soon provide cars to take the students home after school but as a mother I always remind her not to engage with a complete stranger. It seems she can understand this.

Even when she plays with her friends at our housing complex, I have to stay close to her.

Nobody can be trusted now.

I think close monitoring and proportional protection will help anticipate possible kidnappings. I also keep an eye on any residents in my complex.

Nanik, 38, is a housewife who resides in Cengkareng, West Jakarta with her husband and three children:

Frankly speaking, I don't want to worry too much about the possible kidnapping. But it does not mean that I lose control over my children.

Fortunately, my youngest son goes to a reputable elementary school, which means I don't have to accompany him all day at school.

I have talked with his teachers about my son and who will pick him up each day. I am sure the teachers are trustworthy.

The teachers maintain good communications with the parents in many ways. After school, every pupil is not allowed to leave the school until the teachers are sure a family member has come to collect them.

I like the school system. I believe they have a strong commitment to ensuring the pupils are safe.

As I am busy all day with business, I have hired an ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver to collect my children after school.

-- Leo Wahyudi S.