KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 20 (Reuters) Malaysians have reacted with outrage and revulsion to the country's most horrifying crime in years -- the murder of an 8-year-old girl who had been tortured, sexually abused and then dumped in a sports bag.
Malaysian dailies and Internet blogs have been filled with anger and disbelief after the girl's naked body was stuffed in the bag and left outside a shophouse near the capital on Monday, fuelling talk that she was the victim of a serial sex offender.
''Dear God, why?'' social activist Marina Mahathir, daughter of a former prime minister, wrote on her blog today.
''If this is the same Kampung Baru molester that has been molesting little girls for some time now, why was no alarm raised earlier? Why did this little girl have to die first?'' Kampung Baru is an old quarter of Kuala Lumpur where a 6-year-old girl was abducted from a mosque, molested then released in June. Like the dead girl, one newspaper reported, she had had a vegetable forced into her private parts.
At first, no one came forward to claim the dead girl's body, but the mystery deepened today when police identified the victim from DNA tests as a missing girl, Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, whose parents had already viewed and disowned the body on Monday.
Nurin was reported missing on August 20 after she went alone to a night market in Kuala Lumpur, local media said, adding that she was last seen being dragged into a white van by a man.
Nurin's father refused to accept the DNA result today state news agency Bernama said. He and his wife had earlier told reporters that the dead girl did not look like their daughter and had a birthmark on her left thigh that they did not recognise.
''I am Nurin's father ... I know my daughter better than anyone else. My heart is saying the body is not my daughter,'' Jazimin Abdul Jalil, 33, a taxi-driver, was quoted as saying.
''If police ask me to take the body, I will accept, I will perform the funeral rites and bury it. But I want the police to pursue the search for Nurin because I know Nurin is still safe out there.'' REUTERS SKB HT1440