For clarity, we are relocating PCYeoh's contribution on its own thread (here) as the issue touches on a HOAX...
What PCYeoh wrote on 09-01-2004 11:13 AM...
I refer to an article by YVONNE LEE SHU YEE titled ?New twist to kidnapping?published on Thursday 8th January in Section 2 which I have cut and pasted that part for I have a bone of contention here.
New twist to kidnapping
A kidnapping in Subang of Selangor on Monday sets YVONNE LEE SHU YEE pondering security concerns for parents in these dangerous times.
"........ Security in confined public areas can make a world of difference. I must relate how the fast action of efficient staff of one hypermarket in Subang saved a kidnap victim who was my friend’s relative. It was crowded when the mother lost track of her five-year-old. She swiftly alerted the staff who immediately gave instructions to seal off all the exits. Staff were deployed to check all floors and toilets. Shortly, they found the girl slumped unconscious on the floor of one toilet. Her clothes had been changed and her hair, hurriedly shaven. But they couldn’t trace the culprits who must have abandoned their dastardly endeavour and sped off. "
This is my comment. If you read the articles I sourced from http://www.urbanlegends.com/ulz/xsams.html , you will find that what Ms Yvonne wrote can't possibly be true as it has all the ingredients of both two stories from the above website published below. I would like to verify with her where is her source especially when she said “…. a kidnap victim who was my friend’s relative.? The Star is a reputable publication which I feel should not delve in hearsay and then make real as if it is happening in our own backyard.
The following are examples of two recent child abduction urban legends.
BE SURE TO FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE. SO THEY KNOW JUST HOW SICK PEOPLE ARE OUT HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Story No 1
I wanted to share something that happened today while shopping at Sam's club. A mother was leaning over looking for meat and turned around to find her 4 yr. old daughter was missing, I was standing there right beside her, well she was calling her daughter and no luck. I asked a man who worked at Sam's to announce it over the loud speaker for Katie. Well, he did, and let me say he walked past me when I asked and went to a pole where there was a phone right there to make his announcement for all doors, and gates to be locked a code something, so they locked all the doors at once. This took all of 3 minutes after I asked the guy to do this. They found the little girl 5 minutes later crunched in a bathroom stall, her head was half shaved, and she was dressed in her underwear with a bag of clothes, a razor and wig sitting on the floor besides her. Whoever this person was, took the little girl, brought her into the bathroom, shaved half her head, undressed her in a matter of less than 10 minutes. Made me shake to no end. Please keep an eye out for your kids when in shopping places. It only took a few minutes to do all of this, another 5 minutes and she would have been out the door...I am still in shock. Some sick person could do this, let alone in a matter of minutes...The little girl is fine..thank god for fast workers who didn't take any chances.
Story No 2
My daycare told me this on Friday. It is very scary, but oh so real these days...Just a reminder to everyone to please BE CAREFUL... A few weeks ago a friend of Robbies (the owner of our daycare) was at Sam's (I'm assuming everyone has Sam's).... She was at the book section of the store and there was a woman there with a 4 or 5 yr old little girl...Robbie's friend looked up from the books and the lady looked bothered. She asked her if she was ok..and the woman said her daughter was gone. Robbie's friend told her to stay there in case her daughter came back and she went and told the manager. They paged for her to come to the front and that her mommy was waiting for her. Well, after 4 or 5 times and the little girl never showed up, they came over and said "We have a 911..there is a little girl missing in this store.", then they did the "lock up" that a lot of stores do when they lock every door and nobody can leave the store, or enter it for that fact. They began searching the store and they found the little girl. Now, for the scary part... She was in the restroom stripped down to her panties, they had shaved all of her hair off and there was a boys wig and boys clothes laying next to her!!! They were going to change her into a boy and take her right out of the store!!!!! This is SOOOO scary, but I just wanted to let everybody know.
Isn't YVONNE LEE's article in the yesterday's Star alsoooo scary??
Here are the responses on this matter transferred from the other thread -
09-01-2004 11:26 AM
i know this is a serious matter but i think Ms Yvonne Lee must have succumbed to one of the many serious email hoaxes going around.
pcyeoh, you are most wise to check www.urbanlegands.com. that's what i do whenever i get one of these "YOU MUST FORWARD THESE NOW!!" type of emails. the sad fact is about 90% of those emails were hoaxes. the remaining 10% include the local versions of these hoaxes - not so easy to trace.
besides, can you think of any hypermarket in malaysia which would immediately "seal all exits and deploy staff to check all floors and toilets?"
09-01-2004 05:31 PM
aimless, your aim is way out - 90% is way too low an estimate - from my experience its over 99.9% hoaxes. and if i were to publish my responses to such hoaxes some of our readers might need a dictionary of foul languages to understand how i make it known to internet users that they are downright damn stupid sickos who deserve to be locked up behind the bars of mental asylums.
joker - u said it man. i wish ppl would be more careful about what they forward. take the well known email about which says that if you have a heart attack when alone, you should cough violently. That one was given so much credibility, it actually made it to many newspapers and magazines as an article! And even then, nobody bothered to actually verify from the source quoted (usually in hoaxes, the source does not exist, but in this case, it did!) that it was for real.
Of course one real driver for these hoaxes is greed. All those emails which said that microsoft tracks the emails and will donate a dollar for every person you forward it to! Firstly, i wish I had a dollar for every single one of those emails i received! Secondly, if microsoft tracks emails like that, man i would be one scared internet user, i can tell you that!
Despite having a so-called private email, I have, for the past year, received so many hoax emails that I do not know how to grade them, from Missing kids to a lady supposedly working in Philips asking for donation via email tracking (BTW, there's no answer to the phone number given) to some Nigerian big-shot trying to unload his millions to a 'trusted partner' in Malaysia TO lottery winning confirmation when I don't even buy 4D or Toto....
The worse thing one can do frankly, is to fwd emails without checking. Umpteen times I have replied to senders not to send emails that are unverified bcos I verify some of them and most of the time they turn out to be utter rubblish e.g. email tracking for donation, some have already been resolved a year before. Or horror stories for circulation to the whole world. While it is good to have an intention and make an effort to aid in a cause, it becomes an insult to ourselves and our level of education when we do not act with wisdom.
Email Hoaxes - I've become so good at identifying one already since I've been receiving them since 1995, I guess. The ones I hate are 'horror' stories - kidnappings, loaded perfumes, gang initiations.
The ones that irritate me most are those that talk nonsense - smear campaign against an individual or company - linking them to rascism, bigotry, anti-semitism or zionism (depending on which 'side' of the equation you fall under.
I seem to get a lot from weel-meaning friends but even after telling them about the urbanlegends site, they still do not use it. Worst yet, they have the holier than thou attitude - how do you know that urbanlegends is right. (Answer: first of all, they spend the time and effort to research - hello?). Their justification is that they have good intentions and am forwarding it just in case there is some truth in it. Hey, isn't there a law against rumor-mongering.
Not only do they take up precious bandwidth, they waste everyone's time. Multiply the few minutes an innocent victim spends reading and forwarding the mail by the millions of unsuspecting people out there. Then take the result of that and work out what it means to the economy.
But worst of all, it makes it difficult to filter out all the nonsense and the real, legitimate calls for help (call for rare blood, missing child, etc) are the real victims of this.
Coming back to the article - I *think* there is a code of ethics for journalists. They should be be able to take an email hoax - something unsubstantiated - and re-package it as it it is true.
However, who can prove that the event was not true?
The story is quite old - I first heard it in 1991/92 (before Jaring internet) during one of our late-night warong sessions and it was supposed to have happened in a big mall in Subang Jaya. Of course, back then, there were no mega complexes, or hypermarkets.
well, on the plus side, it is becoming more common knowledge that all these rubbushy emails are mere hoaxes... so people seem to be forwarding less and less of them. or maybe they just don't send it to me, cos i always reply with the appopriate link from www.urbanlegends.com or www.snopes.com bursting their bubble. so maybe they see me as a spoilsport to their "goodwill."