Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 26th July 2009:
Some glimmer of hope that the campaign for a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia may not be a totally lost cause
For the first time, I feel that there is some glimmer of hope that the campaign for a new Inspector-General of Police to create a safe Malaysia may not be a totally lost cause.
This is the first time in the 52 year history of the nation that there is so much widespread public disaffection at the prospect of an incumbent being given a second extension of his service in a top public post – the second renewal of Tan Sri Musa Hassan as Inspector-General of Police in September.
Many have regarded the Parliamentary Roundtable for a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia in Parliament on Tuesday as a Don Quixote “tilting against the windmill” lost cause – but even if it is a lost cause, it must be fought with every ounce of energy for we are talking about the safety of 27 Malaysian citizens as well as that of tourists and investors so that they can enjoy the two basic human fundamental liberties, to be free from crime and free from the fear of crime.
However, I feel that the tide for a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia may be turning.
Firstly, I feel encouraged that we seem to have at last a Home Minister who has grasped what his first duty should be – to make Malaysia safe again for its citizens, tourists and investors by ensuring that the streets, public places and privacy of homes are safe like in the first three decades of Merdeka!
In the last three days, the Home Ministry website has sought feedback from the public as to whether they feel safe from crime in the country, a recognition that safety of citizens from crime must be the No. 1 job of a Home Minister.
For the past three days, there had been a sustained 97% of those polled who feel unsafe and 95% who hold that their security is not assured, as illustrated from the following results which I had been tracking:
There can only be one conclusion from such statistics – an indictment of Musa as IGP in failing to perform the most fundamental duty of the No. 1 Policeman in the country and the need for a new IGP to liberate Malaysians from crime and the fear of crime.
I congratulate the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for being courageous in seeking public feed back about their views on the crime situation in the country, and Malaysians expect him to support the appointment of a new IGP to restore public confidence in the priority and ability of the Police to create a safe Malaysia.
I will contact Hishammuddin by phone tomorrow to ask whether he is prepared to attend the Parliamentary Roundtable on Tuesday.
The second silver lining is the speech by the Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Rosmah Mansor revealing that snatch theft cases had increased by 99 per cent from January to April this year as compared to the same period last year.
There were 1,206 snatch theft cases reported in the first four months of this year compared to 606 last year. Even the 1,206 statistics is a gross underestimate as the majority of victims in this category of crime do not report to the police, as there is simply no confidence in the police any more.
I commend Rosmah to add her voice to the national cry for action to end the endemic crime, particularly street crime, in the country.
Malaysia must start off on a new page to create a new image for the Malaysian Police force to ensure that it is capable of performing the three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and protect human rights.
I am prepared to co-operate fully with Hishammuddin to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and protect human rights but the first step for the Police to start a new page is to have a new IGP to provide new and effective leadership.
This is the purpose of the Parliamentary Roundtable on a new IGP for a safe Malaysia in Parliament on Tuesday at 10 am – to set the Malaysian Police on a new course of direction under a new Prime Minister and a new Home Minister.
I believe that there are enough senior police officers who could take over the position of IGP from Musa – in particular from the ranks of the eight top police officers occupying key police positions below the post of IGP instead of renewing Musa’s tenure of IGP for another two years into 2011.
I hope Barisan Nasional MPs will rise above party differences to attend the Parliamentary Roundtable on a new IGP to create a safe Malaysia, to demonstrate to the Police and the Malaysian public that MPs, whether Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional, stand on a common platform to work for the safety of ordinary Malaysians.
Because of the shortness of time, it may not be able to send them individual invitation to the Parliamentary Roundtable. Let this statement serve as another Open Invitation to all MPs, whether Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional, or well as to all concerned professional organisations, NGOs, civic bodies and stakeholders concerned about a new IGP for a safe Malaysia to attend.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor