SHAH ALAM: One week after the disappearance of former TV3 newscaster Zalina Azman made headlines, the phone lines at the police station here have been ringing almost non-stop.

Reported sightings and tip-offs streamed in but there has been no breakthrough so far.

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“Berpuluh-puluh (scores of calls),” said Shah Alam OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Iqbal Ibrahim.

These reported sightings will have to be carefully scrutinised to avoid a wild goose chase, he said.

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Furthermore, some of the information given was not up-to-date, he added.

“Yes, a lot of information has been received, but we need to look into it in greater detail. Some people said they had seen her last year but they couldn’t remember details like what she was wearing at the time,” he said when contacted.

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“Sometimes, we would also get information about a person that looked like her, from different sources,” he said, citing as an example a homeless woman who was spotted by various people.

For now, he said, the police are using known traits of Zalina, such as her proficiency in English, to track her.

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“We know she is very fluent in English, so that is something that can be used to funnel information that comes in when we get such sightings,” he said.

Last Monday, news emerged that Zalina, 58, has been reported missing since Nov 29 last year. Her son Mikhael Norman, 33, lodged a police report on that day after failing to reach her for five days.

Meanwhile, Zalina’s family is as anxious and worried as her friend Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi, who met Zalina’s children and her older brother at the Shah Alam police station on Friday.

“Her whole family, like us, is looking for her and has performed doa selamat (prayers) and Yassin recitation in the hope that God will ease our affairs.

“Her worried family is clueless as to where to look for her,” said Ras Adiba.

The senator and Bernama chairman was speaking to the media after attending a programme organised by the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission and the Malaysia Federation of the Deaf here yesterday.

How Zalina is surviving financially since her bank cards were left at home remains unknown, said Ras Adiba, a former newscaster at TV3.

She has urged the public to stop speculating about her disappearance.

The Internet is abuzz with theories of her being kidnapped, suffering from a mental disorder, and others.

“Let’s stop speculating and focus on finding her. It’s been crazy because people have been messaging me.

“I’m grateful that Malaysians are very concerned and I plead with them to take photos and videos if they spot her,” she added.

Asked why it had taken her and others eight months to reach out publicly, Ras Adiba said they were not aware that the missing person’s report was that of their friend.

“The name on the flyer is Zalina Shaharah Azman, but her full name is not well known publicly.

“The photo used was taken from a distance, so we didn’t recognise her. I only got to know about the case after Haliza Hashim sent me a Facebook post that was re-uploaded by the police. From there, I immediately shared the news with everyone,” she said.

Haliza is TV3’s news and current affairs correspondent based in London.

Police have confirmed that Zalina did not leave the country and are locating the workers involved in renovating her house in Shah Alam.

Zalina’s mobile phone has been turned off since Nov 20.