Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will Hishamuddin Dare Bring Down the Gates?

The Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein once again rejected the Selangor state government’s offer to set up an auxiliary police team to assist the Royal Malaysian Police to reduce crime in the state.

The excuse given by the Home Minister, that an “auxiliary police team” is against the constitution is completely lame, as there’s no such provision in the constitution barring the setting up of such a team just as there is no provision against the employment of security guards.

The excuse is not only lame, it is also completely irresponsible as Hishammuddin has prioritised politics, for the Selangor state government is ruled by the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, over the safety and security of Malaysians living in the state.

The Minister has also argued that since crime has declined, the current measures are sufficient and hence there is no necessity for additional assistance from the state in the form of an auxiliary police team, which was first proposed by the Petaling Jaya local council (MBPJ) last year.

Since Hishammuddin is so confident of the rate of decline in crime and the effectiveness of the existing police force, I’d like to openly challenge him to order the removal of all security barricades, boom gates, guard houses and other barriers which have sprouted like mushrooms in Petaling Jaya and other cities over the past 2 years. These security obstructions have undeniably contributed to the lower crime rate in the state.

Given that it is technically illegal for anybody to block public roads for any reason, will the Home Minister dare to order the complete removal off all such obstructions?

The Selangor state government has taken the decision to tolerate the reasonable use of boom gates, barricades and other barriers despite their illegality because we understand and empathise with the residents’ fear of crime which had peaked in 2008/9 and respect their rights to protect the safety of their family and loved ones, as well as their property under such fearful circumstances.

As a result of residents taking action into their own hands and paying hundreds of ringgit annually, they have managed to contain the level of crime in the city. These actions by Malaysians instead proved that they do not trust the police to have enough resources to protect them, and have to take over the functions of the police themselves.

However, given a choice, Malaysians would rather not have to pay for their own security guards and live with the inconvenience of illegal barriers and barricades which have made cities like Petaling Jaya a literal “war zone”.

The Selangor state government has chosen to take concrete steps to alleviate the current circumstances by offering to set up an auxiliary police force at the state’s expense to assist the Royal Malaysian Police to beef up security and patrols in the state. The offer is particularly timely and appropriate because “the lack of manpower” has been one of the key reasons given by the Police for not having enough officers to patrol the streets. This auxiliary force will come under the direct command of the Police and will play an important role in further preventing and reducing crime in the state.

We call upon the Home Minister to stop playing politics and give completely lame excuses to reject the sincere offer from the Selangor state government. Hishammuddin by put the interest of the “people first”, and ensure that Malaysians have sufficient police officers to protects their lives and property.
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