KUALA LUMPUR: Inspector-General of Police Mohd Fuzi Harun has sought to defuse criticisms against Terengganu police chief Aidi Ismail for his reported statement linking race to gangsterism, saying it may not have been “intentional”.
“I am not defending him, but I do not think he had the intention (to mean that) when he said it.
“Knowing Aidi, he did not mean to make any racial remarks on the issue. It just happens to be that gangsterism in Terengganu is under control,” he said.
Fuzi told reporters this during a visit to the UTK’s (Special Action Unit) training centre in Cheras today, in response to questions about whether Aidi was guilty of racial profiling.
According to a Bernama report on Wednesday, Aidi said Terengganu had no record of gangsterism because the state was made up mostly of Malays.
“In Terengganu, 97% of the population are Malays and they still respect older people in their villages. They respect the village chief, imam and bilal.
“This living culture is an advantage that can prevent gangsterism-related crime” he had said.
Later, members of several parties called on Aidi to apologise for the comment.
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) criminologist P Sundramoorthy said gangsterism cut across ethnic lines and was not limited to any particular community.
“Gangsterism is not only limited to extortion and terrorising a neighbourhood. There are many forms of gangsterism including drugs, gaming activities and others,” he said.
Meanwhile, DAP deputy secretary-general P Ramasamy described the assertion as unscientific, illogical, dangerous and a form of racial profiling.
Saying that the police should not make such wild and irrational statements, Ramasamy, who is also Penang deputy chief minister II wanted Fuzi to sack Aidi from his post if an apology was not forthcoming.
Ramasamy also questioned if the recent arrests and detentions of Indians for alleged gangsterism arose from a perception among the police that those of a certain race were more prone to committing crime than others.