Why Police cannot give
clear-cut assurances that with recent pay increases, Malaysians can be and
feel safer in their homes and communities and the public can get better
services from the police?
by Lim Kit Siang
Another shocking crime report
in today’s newspapers – “Man dies in bid to foil car theft” (The Star),
how a factory worker Tan Chee Wai, 31, was stabbed to death near his home
in Taman Seri Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, at 7 am yesterday to prevent four men
from stealing a car.
In Johor Baru, a woman was slashed in the early hours of Thursday morning
when she was robbed at a petrol kiosk to refill fuel.
The day before in Johor Baru, a Nanyang Siang Pau woman reporter who had
told the Johor State Chief Police Officer the previous day that the crime
situation in the town was so bad that she dared not come out at night was
herself injured when she was a victim of an attempt snatch theft.
Nobody is safe from crime or spared from the fear of crime, particularly
in the hot spots of crime in Johor Baru, Klang Valley, Penang and Ipoh –
despite the recent increases in police pay and personnel as well as a lot
of P.R. by top police officers.
Even the police are not safe in the privacy of their homes, as illustrated
by the case of L/Kpl Redzuan Mat Nor, 41, from the Batu Arang police
station, who was badly injured when he put up a fight when three robbers
broke into his house in Taman Pelangi, Rawang last Saturday. Redzuan was
slashed with a parang.
The question all Malaysians are entitled to demand an answer is why the
Police cannot give clear-cut assurances that with recent pay increases,
the people can be and feel safer in their homes and communities and the
public can get better services from the police, with victims or witnesses
to crimes treated better by the police?
The crime index had been on an unchecked increase in the past four years
although the police force had set the target of reducing the crime index
by five per cent each year while the Royal Police Commission had proposed
a more ambitious target of a minimum of 20% decrease in each category of
crime within a period of 12 months from mid-2005.
Crime statistics show the police fighting a losing war against rising
crime as the crime index worsened from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 226,836
cases in 2006, a sharp rise of 45.1% in the past three years.
In the first five months of this year, crime index has further worsened,
with the country recording a 8.7 per cent increase in the crime index
between January and May this year as compared to the first five months of
These are reported crimes, as there is a serious problem of unreported
crimes with many victims of crimes not lodging police reports because they
have no confidence in the police.
It is because of this rising crime in the country that the Parliamentary
Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance is holding its third public
hearing in Bukit Mertajam at Jit Sin Chinese Independent Secondary School
at 10 am tomorrow.
The Police have rightly said that fighting crime cannot be left to the
police alone. But the Police must demonstrate that it appreciates public
assistance by not only sending it top officers to the Caucus public
hearing in Bukit Mertajam tomorrow but by declaring that it has no
objection to media coverage of the public hearing.
This will be proof that the Police is getting out of its serious denial
complex in refusing to admit that it is facing a crisis of confidence as
to how to make the streets, public places and privacy of homes safe and
secure again for citizens, tourists and investors.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman