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The 5.1 % rise in crime index for the first 6 months of 2007 as compared to last year highlights police incompetence, inability and indifference in fighting crime and requires Deputy Ministers of the Internal Security Ministry to impose constant surveillance in states with rising crime index

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Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng

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(Petaling Jata, Sunday): The 5.1% rise in crime index for the first 6 months of 2007 as compared to last year highlights police incompetence, inability and indifference in fighting crime and requires Deputy Ministers of the Internal Security Ministry to impose constant surveillance in states with rising crime index. Promises by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hasan when his tenure was extended after his retirement in September, of crime prevention are noted more for its breach than its compliance. 

Despite extensive publicity, the police appears helpless and powerless against criminals. More unforgivable is allowing robbers caught or under police custody to escape. On 6 July 2007 in Taman Perling, Johor Baru, policemen just stood and waited outside a house as a robbery was taking place. When one of the robbers ran out, the police allowed him to run away together with two accomplices. Even the one of the robbersí wife was allowed to take away her husbandís vehicle used in the robbery!  

Worse of all were policemen in Johor Baru Utara police district allowing two robbers. caught by residents in Pulai Perdana and handed over to the police, to escape from the police station yesterday. Policeís explanation that they had escaped because they were not handcuffed is completely unacceptable when suspects should be handcuffed. Why is PKR staff member Nathanial Tan arrested under the Official Secrets Act(OSA) handcuffed when he has harmed no one, but not robbers and thieves? 

With such criminal negligence and poor work attitude, it is no wonder that the crime index has risen. What is surprising is that the Johor crime index has fallen by 7.65% for the first half of this year despite the wild crime spree in Johor. No one would believe such figures when robberies and rapes happen daily in the Iskandar Development Region. The police must examine the veracity and reliability of such statistics in Johor and whether public are discouraged from making police reports of crime.  

According to Tan Sri Musa, Selangor topped the list at 17% followed by Perak, Kelantan and Melaka. The 10 states with a rising crime index should be put on a black list that required constant monitoring not just by the IGP but also by the Minister and Deputy Ministers for Internal Security. What is the point of having Deputy Ministers who are not serious in their duties in monitoring the poor performance of police?  

Both Datuk Johari Baharom and Fu Ah Kiow should go on a weekly nation-wide tour in those states with a rising crime index and impose constant surveillance to apply pressure to police in these states to perform. Should the police fail to perform then the government should not hesitate to punish them. For both Johari and Fu to earn their salaries by traveling around the country monitoring the performance of the police is better than just misusing police powers to take political vengeance against political opponents.

Nathaniel Tanís arrest under the Official Secrets Act is intended to cover-up truth and discourage expose of scandals against BN leaders

DAP condemns the remand for 4 days of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) information bureau staff Nathaniel Tan to facilitate investigations under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) as a blatant act of intimidation to cover-up the truth and discourage expose of scandals against BN leaders. 

Up to now everyone is puzzled how Tan can be accused of being  in possession of documents linked to Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Johari Baharomís alleged involvement in corruption that he had received RM5.5 million to release several suspected criminals held under the Emergency Ordinance, when there was no such indication in Tanís blog or by Tan personally.  Tan was never involved in receiving or exposing corruption allegations. In fact it is top PKR opposition leaders who had publicly claimed to have such documents and yet no action was taken by police against them. 

Any action taken should be in the form of civil suit for defamation, because expose of corruption should not be classified as an official secret. For Johari to misuse his powers by wanting the police to investigate and trace writers spreading lies through websites to prevent kinds of slander about the nationís leaders from being spread through the Internet is an act of cowardice and vengeance.    

DAP calls for the immediate release of Nathaniel Tan from such victimization, which is a clear attempt to still a young voice of conscience and silence the freedom of blogs to air their views on the internet. There is a chilling climate of fear in the blogosphere following his arrest and DAP fears that more bloggers will hide their identity or do it from an overseas server or not blog completely on current affairs to avoid getting into trouble. Such arrests only spell the end of the spring of greater openness and liberal atmosphere promised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he became Prime Minister on October 1 2003.

 

(15/7/2007)


* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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