Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crime: Stop Spinning & Give Full Statistics

Minister in Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Idris Jala was quoted in The Star yesterday, "if the [crime] statistics are not convincing, perhaps then we should try to dwell into how the police were able to bring the crime rates down in a specific area, for example, one of the hotspots”.

He further called on the media to play its role in fighting crime and help arrest the “doom and gloom” by reporting on solved cases and not sensationalising crime by repeatedly reporting the same news.

We call upon the Government to stop the spin on the crime situation in the country. There is absolutely no question that the people do not feel safe in the streets regardless of the many "feel good" selective statistics the Government has released to the public.

Datuk Idris Jala claimed that “we as in the police (PDRM), Home Ministry (KDN) and Pemandu have been very transparent in acknowledging that there are 157,891 index crime cases reported in 2011”.  However, if the Government is so confident of its crime fighting achievements, why is it refusing to provide detailed statistics by districts (e.g., Petaling Jaya, Klang, Serdang etc.) or by type of crime (e.g., murder, kidnapping, snatch theft, robbery, armed robbery etc.)?

It is not helped by the fact that crime incidence appears to be on the rise again after at least 4 recent reports over robbery and attempted abduction in various shopping centres across the Klang Valley over the past month alone.

  • May 27: 25 year old internet marketeer Chin Xin-Ci had a meat cleaver pressed against her throat before being shoved into the car in an attempted kidnap and car robbery in The Curve.
  • June 3: Aeon Jusco Cheras Selatan - 2 robbers bashed the head of an unsuspecting customer for her purse as she walked to her car with a relative. 
  • June 12: Attack and robbery at the Adorn Level of Starhill Gallery’s car park
  • June 22: Victim was found leaning against a wall with blood gushing from her head and hands at Midvalley Carpark office tower lift lobby at parking zone G, on level 4.

Ironically, my very own special assistant had her house broken into in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur just last week.

And if crime is indeed on the rise, the media must not be faulted for reporting them. In fact they have the responsibility to report them to ensure that members of the public are alerted to take the necessary precautions.

On the other hand, in other much safer countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, crime incidences are similarly reported, without jeopardising the confidence the people have in the safety of these countries. Hence if the situation on the ground is truly safe as the Government claims, then the Malaysians confidence in the system cannot be so fragile, and so easily shaken by "sensationalised" media reports on certain crime incidence.

The Governments attempt to gag the media from reporting crime incidence and to focus only on gloating the selective "success" of crime fighting efforts, will only result in a sense of false security, causing more innocent victims to fall prey to crime.

We once again call upon the Government stop blaming the media for the concerns about crime. Instead, tell us why the Government refuses to provide detailed statistics on crime to all Malaysians, if they really have nothing to hide from us.
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