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Swift action needed on alarming crime rates

July 17, 2012

FMT LETTER: From P Gunaseelan, via e-mail

Rampant criminal activities are making people worried. Our cities and the country must be a safe place to encourage more tourists to flock in. In moving towards a developed nation, more preventatives measures like existence and patrolling of police or security forces must be in place.

At times, we are unable to see any police personnel in townships and recreational areas. The government should mobilise the army and Rela personals to curb the crime problems during this alarming situation.

Criminals will fear to act if there are presence and visibility of police or security forces. Besides public must be educated of their conduct or behaviour in public areas.

Public must not expose their valuables and attract criminals to charge at them. They must ensure their valuables are always safely kept. They must be always be alert while on the move, especially if they are alone. They should be more observant if they are being followed or lookout for suspicious characters.

The criminals have become braver. In a recent incident in Kampung Medan, an attempt was made by snatch thieves on a Malay couple on a motorcycle. Fortunately, the snatch thieves were apprehended by the husband with the help of the public.

This goes to prove that in a broad day light the criminals dare to stage a brave and a daring act. When such incident can happen in day light imagine what can happen in the night.

Former IGP Musa Hassan was reported to have said that the country’s public security level is at worrying stage and this cannot be taken lightly. He has also proposed the government conduct an independent survey to check the rise in criminal activities. Coming from a former top cop, this cannot be ignored lightly.

The current IGP Ismail Omar has, however, dismissed Musa’s statement, saying that this may be his personal view and does not reflect the real situation as international platforms like Genuine Programme Indicator (GPI) have stated the effectiveness of measures of the Malaysian police force to combat and reduce crime in the country.

Home Minister Hishammuddin has also given thumbs up to the police force and has said the reported few incidents of violent crimes were isolated and official data shows there is no cause of alarm.

But a survey conducted by a local English daily showed Selangor has the notoriety of being the state with the highest crime rate in the country. We feel that incidents reported in the media shows that the crime rate in Kuala Lumpur may possibly be high.

The reality is that while some cases are reported and highlighted in the media, majority of the cases are not reported as the victim feels that the chance of recovering the stolen items and solutions to their problems are slim.

It is very sad that women are continuously targeted and they feel very insecure when out in the street. While majority of the crimes are committed by locals, the entry of foreigners, especially the illegal’s, have worsened the situation.

You can witness the presence of foreigners if you walk into the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Sundays.

While others give facts and figures to justify their claim, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has come out with a satisfying statement that more measures have to be taken to combat crime.

To gain public trust and confidence, there is nothing wrong in conducting an independent study by a third party. The police need not feel dejected or upset about this as this will clear the air for once and for all.

We have one of the best police force in this region as they have proved their capability in handling huge crowds like rally by Hindraf, reformasi demonstrations and Bersih rallies. They have also resolved so many high profile cases.

It is a matter of accepting the truth and changing the mindset of the police force. What people need is upgrading of the law enforcement to ensure immediate assurance and solutions to public safety.

The ball is in the police court. It is their turn to “act”.

I would like to share a quote by Mahatma Gandhi: ‘A country is considered to have achieved its full independence only when women can walk safely in street at anytime without fear’.

The writer is the president of the Malaysian Public Service Association


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