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Most alarming that Abdullah and IGP are not alarmed by the skyrocketing crime index in the past three years despite Royal Police Commission recommendations and 2004 BN general election manifesto to reduce crime to make Malaysia a safe country
(Parliament, Saturday) : It is most alarming that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan are not alarmed by the skyrocketing crime index in the past three years despite the Royal Police Commission recommendations and the Barisan Nasional’s 2004 general election manifesto to reduce crime to make Malaysia a safe country.
Just like the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, which saw Malaysia’s ranking plunging by seven positions from 37th to 44th placing from 2003 to 2006 despite the top billing by Abdullah to combat corruption, the crime index in the country has worsened from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 226,836 cases in 2006 – a sharp rise of 45.1% in the past three years when the police force had set the target of reducing the crime index by five per cent each year!
In the 2004 general election, Abdullah had promised Malaysians that his government would reduce crime to make Malaysia a safe country for the people and investors – but the streets, public places and the privacy of homes in Malaysia have become even more unsafe under his premiership in the past three years.
The Royal Police Commission in its report in May 2005 had expressed alarm at the “high incidence of crime”, when it noted:
“The incidence of crime increased dramatically in the last few years, from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,465 cases in 2004, an increase of 29 per cent. The increase seriously dented Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country. Malaysians in general, the business sector and foreign investors grew increasingly concerned with the situation. The fear was that, if the trend continues, there would be major social and economic consequences for Malaysia. A survey of 575 respondents from the public carried out by the Commission clearly demonstrates the extremely widespread concern among all ethnic groups and foreign residents. Between 82.2 per cent and 90 per cent of the respondents, or 8 to 9 persons in every 10, were concerned with the occurrence of crime.”
The trend of high incidence of crime had jumped 45.1% in three years from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 226,836 cases.
The Royal Police Commission was also shocked by the increase in violent crime during the period. It said:
“There was an alarming increase in violent crime during the period. Violent crime grew from 16,919 cases in 1997 to 21,859 cases in 2004, an increase of 29.2 per cent in 8 years. Cases involving unarmed gang robbery saw an increase of 56.5 per cent followed by attempted murder (76.9 per cent) and unarmed robbery (80.7 per cent)”.
In the past three years, however, violent crime had skyrocketed by 85.8 per cent from 22,790 cases in 2003 to 42,343 cases in 2006, with rape cases registering the highest increase of 65.5 per cent – reaching an average of 6.7 women raped daily in 2006 compared to an average of four women raped daily in 2003. In 2003, an average of 1.5 persons were murdered daily; but in 2006, this has increased to an average of 1.65 persons murdered daily.
The police crime index, however, do not provide an accurate and complete analysis of the true levels of crime in the country, as there is a very serious problem of unreported or under-reporting of crime because of the lack of public confidence in the police.
In a survey, the Royal Police Commission estimated that only some 75.3% of the victims of crime reported to the police. In cases of rape, the reporting rate is even lower where only one out of four or five cases is reported.
I am still waiting for explanation why top police officers are in fact downplaying the gravity of the crime index, reacting to the much lower crime statistics in the New Straits Times report on Monday, citing 171,604 cases in 2005 and 198,622 cases in 2006, which is far below the official statistics given on the police website, which cited a higher crime index of 198,017 cases in 2005 and 225,836 cases in 2006.
Can the IGP or the Prime Minister explain such a great discrepancy. If crime statistics used by top police officers cannot be trusted, then the credibility of the entire government with regard to its claims and assertions over a whole range of issues, whether economic, educational, social or political, will come under grave doubt.
Has the alarming jump in the crime index in the past three years as revealed by the 2006 data been placed on the Cabinet agenda this year, what is the reason why the Police had failed to achieve its target of reducing the crime index by five per cent each year in the past three years and what is the National Policing Plan to make Malaysia a safe country for its people and visitors, particularly on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka celebrations and the Visit Malaysia Year 2007?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman