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Why did crime in Kuala Lumpur surge 40% in the first three months of this year when Police had been talking about “Zero crime” objective for the Federal capital only last November?

Media Statement        
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Monday) : Two days after the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made the call for an “all-out war against crime”, Malaysians were shaken up by the revelation that there had been a 40% surge in the crime rate in Kuala Lumpur, the Federal Capital this year. 

Why did crime in Kuala Lumpur surge 40% in the first three months of this year when the Police had been talking about a  “zero crime” objective for the Federal capital only last November? 

Malaysians can  still remember reading news reports in November last year  of police boasts that “there are virtually no more cases of snatch theft and wayside robbery in several crime-prone areas in the city, including the golden triangle” in Kuala Lumpur – attributed to the presence of senior police officers in patrolling the streets. 

Why is the effect of the new police strategy to reduce crimes not only so short-lived but clearly counter-productive as evident from the 40% increase in Kuala Lumpur’s crime rate in the first three months of year? 

Have the senior police officers been pulled out of patrolling the streets, which had been given so much publicity as the  new strategy to increase police presence to fight crime? 

Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Bahrum has asked for an explanation for the rising crime rate in the first three months of the year, which is capable of sabotaging the “Visit Malaysia Year 2007” campaign to attract 20.1 million tourists to net a revenue of RM44.5 billion. 

However,  in view of the importance of ensuring that Malaysia has a low crime index for the safety and security of Malaysians, tourists and foreign investors, why has the Internal Security Ministry failed to mount a monthly monitoring of the crime index in the country? 

Malaysians want the Prime Minister to explain whether he has a new operational strategy when he called for an “all-out war against crime” last Thursday, or was he just indulging in rhetoric without any concrete anti-crime strategy in mind? 

When he became Prime Minister at the end of 2003, Abdullah promised the nation an “all-out war against corruption”.  Forty months later, the all-out war against corruption had been a total failure, with nothing to show whatsoever in the creating a culture and ethos of national integrity. On the contrary, there is national and international consensus and endorsed by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, that corruption under Abdullah’s premiership is the worst under the nation’s five prime ministers in the past 50 years. 

Will Abdullah’s second “all-out war”, this time against crime, produce the same tragic outcome  – not only no visible improvement in the crime situation but rapid deterioration in the law-and-order situation with Malaysians, visitors and investors living under increasing fear of crime whether in the streets, public places or privacy of their homes/residence. 

If Abdullah is serious this time in his all-out war against crime, he must enlist the support of MPs, civil society and the citizenry to restore to Malaysians their fundamental right to be free from crime and the fear of crime. 

For a start, the Prime Minister should agree to the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Public Security to allow MPs to play a full and meaningful role to ensure firstly, that the country has an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service to keep crime low, combat corruption and uphold human rights; and secondly, that there is an effective and transparent National Policing Plan to ensure a steady reduction of the crime index in the country.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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