Public need immediate action on alarming crime rates
By P Gunaseelan
Lately we read abundance of stories of burglaries, assaults, snatch thefts, break- ins, kidnapping, attempted rape, thefts at ATM machines, bold thefts by smashing windows of cars during jams and at traffic light during broad day light.
We also hear about vehicles thefts, robbers hiding near houses and sneak into the porch when automatic gates are opened and stage brave and fearless robberies and this list will never end. Lately in an incident a lady who was walking in Greentown, Penang near her flat got her handbag snatched causing her to be dragged for several meters, sustaining injuries and die.
Lately couple of cold murders is also reported in the media. The recent one was in Subang Jaya, where only part of a man’s body was only found.
Some people especially woman are unlucky that they have fallen prey to snatch thief’s more than once. Some victims are robbed few times. Their experience has left them paranoid whenever they hear motorcycle approaching.
Criminal activities are more rampant making people worry about going alone for walks and shopping especially the womankind.
Our cities and the country must be a safe place to encourage more tourists to flock in. Moving towards a developed nation more preventive 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 mobilize the army and Rela personals to curb these problems during this alarming situation.
Criminals will fear to act if there are presence and visibility of police or security forces. Besides that the public must be educated of their conduct or behavior in public areas. They must not expose their valuables and attract criminals to charge at them.
They must ensure their valuables such as gold ornaments, wallet, handbags or electronic gadgets are always safely kept. They must always be alert while on the move alone. They should be more observant if they are being followed or lookout for suspicious characters.
The criminals have become that brave. In a recent incident in Kampung Medan, a Malay couple while travelling in a motorcycle was attempt to by the snatch thieves from another motorcycle. Fortunately, the snatch thieves were apprehended by the husband with the help of the public.
This goes to proof that in 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 Tan Sri Musa Hassan was reported saying that the country’s public security level is at a worrying stage and this cannot be taken lightly. He has also proposed the government to conduct an independent survey through a third party. This comes from the Ex Boss of the Police force and his statement cannot be ignored lightly.
The current IGP has dismissed Musa Hassan’s statement saying this may be his personal view and does not reflect the real situation as International platforms like Genuine Program Indicator (GPI) have stated the effectiveness of measures of the Malaysian police force to combat and reduce crime in the country.
Home Affairs Minister Dato’Seri Hishammudin has also given thumps 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 shows 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 also 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 has worsen the situation. You can vividly 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 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. 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 on the police court.
It is their turn to “act” I would like to share a quote by Mahatma Ghandi. ‘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 President of the Malaysian Public Service Association & Editor of Nayagankini.This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Times.