Saturday, February 17, 2007

Crime City II

I've written on Crime City earlier with first hand anecdotes of friends and associates who became victims of crime in the past year. It is my contention that when such reports are heard first hand at such a frequent basis, instead of being just second or third hand reports, it clearly indicates that crime in this country has reached precarious levels.

Over the past month, I believe that my contention is now vindicated. Trust me, I'd much rather be totally wrong on this, for it will mean that there are and will be much fewer victims of crime in this country.

Firstly, we have Datuk Albert Mah, 82, a former Penang Chief Police Officer (CPO) passed away due to head injuries inflicted by robbers in his residence at affluent Bukit Gasing, Petaling Jaya. Albert Mah was a top cop and gave 35 years of his distinguished life to serving the Malaysian Police Force. It cannot be of any greater irony that he lost his life to crime in his own home. The same police force which he served, has clearly failed their very own loyal servant.

To quote Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Sdr Lim Kit Siang, “the clear message of Mah’s tragic and senseless killing is that no one is safe in Malaysia anymore, whether in the streets, public places or the privacy of the home. If a former top crime buster and ex-CPO could killed so senselessly in the privacy of his home, who is safe in Malaysia?”

Secondly, in data just released last month, the statistics are frightfully damning.

The Royal Police Commission report had stated that violent crime grew from 16,919 cases in 1997 to 21,859 in 2004. That's an increase of 29.2% over the 8 years.

However, as recently announced, the past 2 years alone saw violent crime soaring by an unbelievable 93.7% from 21,859 cases in 2003 to 42,343 cases in 2006. The number of women raped increased from 4 to 6.7 victims daily from 2003 to 2006. And that is only the reported cases, as we are fully aware that rape cases are significantly under-reported in this country.

In Petaling Jaya (PJ) alone where Datuk Albert Mah suffered his premature demise, the crime index increased by more than 22% over the past year alone. That is higher than the national average increase of 15.7%, or 14.3% for Selangor. The ratio of 1 policeman for every 5,500 citizens in PJ is far too high compared to recommended international standards of 1 to 250 citizens.

Obviously there are clearly many things wrong with our policing system. Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had promised us a safer country to live in since he took over the Prime Ministership. The Royal Malaysian Police Force had promised us an annual improvement of 5% in the crime index. Both parties are clearly failing the rakyat, and failing miserably. Unfortunately, we do not have Batman and Co. guarding our streets at night...
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