DAP calls on the Home Minister to view with seriousness the
people's unhappiness towards police performance
by Chong Eng
An opinion poll on public safety and security in Penang conducted by
the Penang DAP in July this year revealed that as many as 87.8% of the 212
respondents polled were not satisfied with the performance and attitude of
the police in keeping society safe and free from crime.
Out of the 212 respondents, 76.4% of them were victims of robberies, thefts,
extortions and other crimes or had friends and relatives who also fell prey
to similar experiences. 86.3% of them considered that the crime rate in
Penang is getting worse. They were skeptical about the ability of the police
to solve their cases, where only 4.8% thought that the chances of the police
solving a case were high while the majority (84.4%) thought otherwise.
In another poll involving 50 participants of a crime prevention talk
entitled "A Lesson from Canny Ong's Case - Reduce Sex-crimes" held in Bukit
Mertajam on 19 July, all 50 of them, mainly women, said that they did not
feel safe going out, whether during the day or at night because many crimes,
including rape, also happened in broad day light!
A more shocking revelation from the poll is that all 50 participants were
dissatisfied with the police performance! The Inspector General of Police
and the Home Minister ought to view with this negative perception of the
people towards the police, very rightly or wrongly, with seriousness.
Out of the 50 participants, 27 of them were victims of thefts and robberies
but only 15 of them reported the crime to the police. Those who did not
report cited various reasons for not doing so. Many of them said that the
police told them not to report their case since their losses were small and
the process of applying for a new identity card did not require a police
report. Some said there was no point in reporting as they did not think that
the police would be able to recover their lost items. Others remarked that
making police report takes up a lot of time and some of them also
encountered language problems.
The public's confidence in the police has probably reached the lowest point
and this should be the utmost concern of the government, especially the Home
* Chong Eng, DAP Women Chairperson and MP for Bukit Mertajam