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Challenge to IGP – to belatedly implement Royal Police Commission recommendation to achieve a minimum of 20 per cent decrease in the number of crimes committed for each category and in each state within the next 12 months!
(Parliament, Wednesday): The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan has his tenure as the top police cop renewed when it expires in September but when will he get serious about the rising crime and commit the police to an immediate Crime Reduction Plan whose improvement could be openly monitored on a monthly basis?
When the Royal Police Commission submitted its final report in May 2005, it said that Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country was “seriously dented” by the “dramatic increase” in the incidence of crime in the past few years and that “Malaysians in general, the business sector and foreign investors grew increasingly concerned with the situation”.
The Royal Commission warned that “if the trend continues, there would be major social and economic consequences for Malaysia”.
The Royal Police Commission was referring to the “dramatic increase” in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, which registered an increase of 29 per cent in eight years.
As a result, the Royal Police Commission proposed a sustained nation-wide drive against crime “until crime levels have reached a point considered no longer alarming”.
Although the Royal Police Commission did not spell out what were the crime levels considered “no longer alarming”, it proposed an immediate target of “a minimum 20 per cent decrease in crimes” within the first 12 months after the Report.
As the Royal Police Commission must be aware of the police target of reducing the crime index by five per cent a year, it would be safe to assume that to the Royal Police Commission, a “no longer alarming” crime index would be a 20% reduction of crime incidence in the first 12 months after the Royal Commission Report followed by a five per cent annual reduction of the crime index.
This would mean that for 2005, there would be a 20% decrease of the crime incidence of 156,455 cases of 2004 followed by a 5% annual decrease in 2006 and 2007 – which will work out to 125,164 cases in 2005, 118,905 cases in 2006 and 112,960 in 2007.
How has the Police fared since the Report of the Royal Police Commission in reducing crime, whether according to the benchmark of the Commission of a minimum 20% decrease in the first 12 months or the police’s own target of an annual reduction of the crime index by five per cent?
Far from being brought to levels which are no longer “alarming” to citizens, tourists and investors, the crime index after the Royal Commission Report had increased by leaps and bounds - shooting up by 9.7 per cent from 156,455 cases in 2004 to 171,604 in 2005, and a further 15.7 per cent in 2006 to 198,622. If there is an annual 5.11 per cent increase for 2007 as reflected for the first six months of the year, then the total crime index would reach a record-high of 208,772 cases!
Instead of reducing the crime incidence of 156,455 cases in 2004 to a level “no longer alarming”, crime incidence is set to break the 200,000 mark this year – which would be a hefty increase of some 30% of the crime incidence of 2004! Instead of bringing down the crime incidence to 112,960 in 2007, it is set to break the 200,000 mark – a shortfall of nearly 80%!
But what is shocking is that no one in police or government regards such a huge jump in the crime incidence as alarming or a threat to the quality of life of Malaysians, tourism and investment despite the alarm sounded by the Royal Police Commission at the 2004 crime index.
Are the police only interested in the “materialistic” recommendations of the Royal Police Commission pertaining to better remuneration and conditions of service, including better housing, (which DAP MPs had supported in Parliament) while ignoring the most important of the recommendations to have a world-class professional police service to keep crime low and wipe out the fear of crime?
With the extension of his tenure as IGP, more is expected of Musa to deliver a Malaysian police which is capable of keeping crime low and wiping out the fear-of-crime in the hot spots of crime like Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Klang, Penang and Ipoh.
Is the IGP prepared to lead and sound the alarm that the rising crime index is completely unacceptable, go back to the Royal Police Commission Report to belatedly implement its proposal to achieve a minimum of 20 per cent decrease in the number of crimes committed for each category and in each state within the next 12 months?
This is the challenge to Musa following the announcement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi early this month on the extension of his tenure as IGP. Will Musa rise to the challenge?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman