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KTAR student Lee Kean Yip must  not die in vain � call for greater police visibility to roll back the escalating crime wave in general and snatch theft incidence in particular


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

, Thursday) One reason why the Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission was formed soon after Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister was because of the public outrage at the spate of heinous  crimes like the Canny Ong abduction-rape-and-murder in June 2003 and the senseless but avoidable killings   from snatch theft incidents � to resolve the crisis of confidence in citizen security by rendering the streets, public places and even private homes safe again as in the early decades of nationhood in the fifties, sixties and even seventies.


It is almost three years since the establishment of the Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission and 15 months since the submission of its 125 recommendations to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service to protect the lives and properties of Malaysian citizens whether in the streets, public places or the privacy of their homes.


The senseless criminal killing of 18-year-old Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) College student  Lee Kean Yip from Ipoh, and the assault of another TAR student Phang Kar Wei, 23,  within minutes in two separate snatch theft incidents in Wangsa Maju and Taman Melati in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night are proof that not much progress had been made in the past three years to restore public confidence in a world-class police service capable of restoring citizen safety in the streets and public places as well as liberating Malaysians from the fear of crime.


It is an adverse  reflection on the Cabinet that Ministers would only discuss the deteriorating crisis on citizen safety when there is public outrage at another senseless and avoidable killing like the case of Lee Kean Yip.


One email which I received from an angry Malaysian over the senseless and avoidable murder of Lee Kean Yip represents the outrage of Malaysians at the failure of the police to perform its most basic function, to ensure the safety of citizens:


�It's indeed very sad to read so many cruel and brutal crime cases happen in our country, Malaysia recently. With less than 30 days, we have seen so many cases involve rape and robbery cum murder cases happen to innocent citizens walking  the streets.


�It's no longer safe to walk on streets especially in big cities such as KL, Penang and JB. Almost everyday we can read about snatch theft happen to our citizens. I believe there are more cases which was not reported in newspaper.

�As a matter of fact, the crime rate in our neighbouring country, Singapore is far lower than our country. Why? There are few significant differences. I was in Singapore for 3 days holiday last week. I notice there are policeman presence on MRT train station, bus stops, shopping complexes, tourist places and on the streets.


�I believe the police presence on the street can significantly reduce the crime rate. In Malaysia, it's hardly to see any policeman patrolling on the streets. We will only see our police force doing petty things such as setting up speed trap to fine the motorist.


�Another factor is the process of charging criminal in our court is very slow. Sometimes it takes a few years to charge a criminal. What happen to the Canny Ong's rape cum murder case. Have the person caught responsible in  this case been charged in court and sent to jail? In Singapore, the penalty for any criminal is very stiff and mandatory. I urge the government and our law makers to impose a stiffer penalty to the snatch theft, robbery and rape criminals.

�Pls make the street safe to walk again!

�Angry citizen�


KTAR student Lee Kean Yip must  not die in vain. There must be the political resolve to ensure   greater police visibility in the streets and public places  to roll back the crime wave in general and snatch theft incidence in particular.

For a start, the police should adopt a three point plan involving greater police visibility, redeployment of double percentage of personnel fighting crime and a National Policing Plan to fight crime and end the fear of crime of Malaysians.

The single most effective factor to deter crime is to have  a modern, professional and  competent police force which could deliver quality world-class police service to reduce crime, the fear of crime and reassure the people about the safety of streets, public spaces and the homes �  and taking the most elementary step to increase police visibility and accessibility bearing in mind that uniformed officers, working on the streets, maintaining the peace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, are the core of policing.

Secondly, there should be redeployment of police personnel to double the percentage of police personnel in fighting crime. At present, only 7% or some 6,000 of the 90,000-strong police force are fighting crime.  This should be immediately raised to 20 per cent, with a target of at least 30 per cent of the police force fighting crime, by releasing police personnel from clerical,  desk  and other jobs unrelated to the task of fighting crime.

Thirdly, the formulation of an annual National Policing Plan, complemented by a  local policing plan in every police district, setting out the priorities of policing, how they are to be delivered and the  indicators by which performance will be measured.  The National Policing Plan should be formulated, implemented and monitored with the fullest public consultation, participation and involvement every step  of the process  � as no police authority in the world can provide effective and efficient world-class policing service without the fullest co-operation from the public.

The Plan should set targets and time-frames  for reduction of crime, such as snatch thefts,  in the various localities. For instance, every urban area such as Wangsa Maju should publicise the �black areas� where crime incidents such as snatch-thefts, are rampant; and the progress to turn these crime �black areas� into �white areas�. When a crime �black area� has been declared a �white area�, it should be a media event to show tangible success in the battle against crime.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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