Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dialogue session between police and residents

I spoke at at the dialogue session held between Police and residents
Monday, January 10, 2011

The  government and the police will have to do more to ensure that Malaysia is a truly safe place, not only by bringing the crime rates down but also by making the people feel safe 

The government has been claiming success at bringing down crime rates in the country.

In terms of statistics, the government is able to make such a claim.

However, the question we have to ask ourselves is- why is it that Malaysians still have this fear of crime.

One only has to conduct a simply survey in the Internet or social media to easily find out how there is still this widespread fear of crimes among Malaysians.

Why can’t people feel the “success” claimed by the government?

In October last year, DAP MP for Rash Anthony’s house was robbed.

This was what he publicly said:-

"This is the first time our home has been broken into and incident really shook us up as we have lived in the neighbourhood for the past 16 years.

Break-ins and theft in the area are quite rare and I never expected it to happen to us," he said adding that the family did not have an alarm system or guard dogs.”

Loke’s house was always a crime free area, then a break in happened.

How will the people feel safe?

Recently, former Deputy Bank Governor Dr Lim Si Yen, in his article titled “The mystique of national transformation” gave his views about crime success in the country.

He said: -

“It is not enough to show that in the first nine months of 2010, crime fell by 16% (but still have 132,355 unresolved reported cases) and street crimes fell 38% (18,299 unresolved reported cases) or that 648 people were arrested for corruption.

The public and investors (with ears on the ground) have to “feel” any improvement. Raw and biased statistics cannot tell the real story, and don’t impress. At this time, it would appear the rakyat and investors don’t “feel” any material improvement in the crime and corruption situation. That matters. But they don’t rush to judgement. What they want to “feel” is for today to be better than yesterday and tomorrow to be better than today; and come tomorrow, their expectations are fulfilled.

Incidents from personal experience reinforce this. Damansara Heights (DH) is rated as a top spot to work and live in greater KL. I stay there and my office is in nearby busy Plaza Damansara. Last week my car was parked three doors away from my office, and within 10 minutes (no joke) the car was gone stolen (sophisticated anti-theft gadgets didn’t help).

Although a police pondok is nearby, I still had to go to report at a police station far away and took altogether three hours just to get a police statement taken. Many more steps still have to be made before I can file an insurance claim. That’s another story. Because my car was a popular brand, we were told that four such cars were stolen in DH in recent days.

Not so long ago, my associated office in DH was broken into and computers were stolen. When friends and neighbours learnt of my predicament, I had an earful of equally unfortunate incidents nearby, including muggings, holdups and handbag snatching. The point is simple: crime remains a problem of serious concern, even in the most liveable area in KL. People and investors just don’t “feel” safe whatever the data may show.”

In June last year, the then IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the public could depend on the police force.

He had revealed that the Police had carried out a re- deployment exercise to achieve a police to population ration of 1: 300 from the then 1:500.

The following were part of the then media report on what Musa had also said:-

- 7,402 officers who were previously assigned for office duties have been deployed to the ground to do patrol duties since January this year. Assistant Superintendents and Inspectors are doing investigative work and over 5,000 lower rank officers are performing patrol duties and intelligence gathering.

--7,000 more have been deployed to work at 14 police contingents covering 147 district police headquarters and 757 police stations across the nation. 500 people will be recruited as sergeants who will do police investigations only.

But with the public still feeling unsafe, the government and the police will have to do more to ensure that Malaysia is a truly safe place, not only by bringing the crime rates down but also by making the people feel safe

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