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Cabinet on Wednesday should appoint a Minister to be fully 24/7 responsible for an “all-out war against crime” and be given six months to show results, failing which he should be removed from this portfolio as well as from the Cabinet

Media Statement        
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Ipoh, Monday): Today’s media coverage on the crime front has again illustrated how after up to 42% pay rise and increased allocations, the Royal Malaysian Police have failed its most fundamental duty – to keep Malaysians and visitors safe from crime and free from the fear of crime.  

These are some of the crimes highlighted in today’s media:

  • A 19-year-old girl student who went to a 24-hour clinic in Ipoh at 1.20 am on Sunday morning for treatment was abducted  by two parang-wielding robbers at the clinic and gang-raped;  (Sin Chew)

  • A Miri woman tourist in Penang who was severely wounded when she suffered seven cuts when two armed men on a motor-bike targeted her for snatch-theft in Georgetown after supper at a hawker centre on Friday night at about 10 pm. (Nanyang)

  • An Australian businessman who makes frequent trips here becoming a snatch theft victim in Malacca in his current visit – at Taman Melaka Raya at around 8.30 pm on July 15. (The Star)

What has happened to the important recommendation of the Royal Police Commission two years ago for a sustained nation-wide drive against crime “until crime levels have reached a point considered no longer alarming”, with the  immediate target of “a minimum 20 per cent decrease in crimes” within the first 12 months after the Report? 

In its report submitted in May 2005, the Royal Police Commission said it was completely unacceptable that the incidence of crime had increased dramatically in the previous few years from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, an increase of 29 per cent - seriously denting Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country. 

Today, however, the crime situation is even worse than before the Royal Police Commission Report, shooting up by 9.7 per cent from 156,455 cases in 2004 to 171,604 in 2005, and a further 15.7 per cent in 2006 to 198,622. If there is an annual 5.11 per cent increase for 2007 as recorded for the first six months of the year, then the total crime index would break the 200,000 mark and reach a record-high of 208,772 cases! 

Malaysians have lost count of the number of times Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had declared an “all-out war against crime” since becoming Prime Minister 45 months ago and Home Minister eight years ago with direct responsibility for the police portfolio – not only with completely no results, but with the opposite result of escalation of the crime wave. 

This has proved to be one of Abdullah’s great failures – a responsibility which the Cabinet must fully share in the transformation of Malaysia from a safe country to a nation where crime and fear of crime have come to haunt and hound the lives of Malaysians, tourists and investors. 

I call on the Cabinet to be serious about the problem of crime and fear of crime and assume full political responsibility to ensure that the many promises of the Prime Minister for an “all-out war against crime” is carried out. 

The biggest weakness today is no one can be held politically responsible for the success or failure of the police to fight crime and eradicate the fear of crime. 

The Cabinet should appoint one Minister to be specially in charge of an “all-out war against crime”, who is 24/7 responsible to end the menace of crime and fear of crime in the country and who must bear full political responsibility inside and outside Parliament for the success or failure of the police in this campaign. 

He should be given six months to begin to show results, failing which he should be removed not only from this responsibility but also from the Cabinet.


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

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