Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 2nd January 2011:
Former Deputy Bank Negara Governor Lin See Yin's personal testimony that claims of GTP/NKRA success in reducing crime does not translate to Malaysians feeling more safe from becoming victims of crime
In Parliament, DAP and Pakatan Rakyat MPs had posed the question to the Home Minister and the Deputy Home Minister whether Malaysians feel more safe from crime and the fear of crime despite government and police claims of success of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) in delivering results for the National Key Results Area (NKRA) target to reduce crime – to achieve at least a 5% reduction in overall reported index crime every year for the next three years and for street crimes, a 20% reduction by December 2010.
A very eloquent answer was given yesterday by former Deputy Bank Governor Governor, Tan Sri Dr. Lin See Yin, in his article “The mystique of national transformation” arguing that “The challenge is to convince stakeholders to buy in and take ownership of the array of programmes” in the StarBizWeek Year Starter issue with the theme “In Transformation”.
This is what Dr. Lin wrote:
Important how the public 'feels'
The Prime Minister declared that success of the ambitious blueprint hinges on its effective implementation: “Execution needs to be flawless.” As I see it, discernable progress in four areas of priority concern to the rakyat and investors needs to come early enough to build confidence. They are corruption, crime, education and private enterprise.
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.
What Dr. Lin wrote is personal testimony by the former Bank Negara Deputy Governor that claims of GTP/NKRA success in reducing crime does not translate to Malaysians feeling more safe from becoming victims of crime.
What Dr. Lin wrote reflects the feelings of the people in the street and validates the contention of Pakatan Rakyat MPs in Parliament – that Malaysians do not have an improved sense of safety, personal or property, or a reduced fear of becoming a victim of crime despite the government and police claims of success in GTP and NKRA to reduce crime.
This will not only have a serious impact on Malaysia’s international competitiveness, discouraging FDIs and tourists, but will also cast doubts on the credibility of government claims of success of its other GTP and NKRA programmes, whether fighting corruption, enhancing education or reducing poverty.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor