The senseless death of another  snatch-theft victim Chong See Chin of Johore Bahru -  claiming one life a month in the past two months -  and the escalating crime wave should top the Cabinet agenda tomorrow

Media Conference Statement
at the Seremban High Court when attending the murder trial over  the killing of Form Four student Muhammad Farid Ibrahim
by Lim Kit Siang

(Seremban, Tuesday): In the recently-concluded parliamentary meeting, I had deplored the “selective outrage” and  lack of sensitivity and responsibility of Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers who had competed in the media to express shock, outrage and condemnation at the maltreatment of Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat but not a single of them expressed any concern let alone shock at the senseless killing of snatch-theft victim Chin Wai Fung, 38, clerk, in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur almost at the same time last month.

Chin Wai Fung had died in vain however, failing to arouse the government and police authorities to an all-out action to roll back the wave of crime, particularly the escalating incidents of snatch-thefts, which  has caused  another senseless death from snatch-theft –Chong See Chin,  37, Nanyang Siang Pau clerk and mother of two. Chong was crossing the road in Taman Molek in Johore Bahru on Saturday when two motorcyclists grabbed her tote bag from behind, dragging her for several metres before she fell, hitting her head on the road. She slipped into a coma and was declared brain dead before  passing away 36 hours later.

I commend the MCA President and  Local Government and Housing Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting for showing personel concern and conveying his condolences to Chong’s husband and family at the crematorium in Johore Bahru yesterday, which showed that DAP criticisms had hit home and been taken to heart.

What the people want, however, are not just personal concern and condolence of Ministers but their commitment to end  the crime wave in the country to restore to Malaysians their fundamental right to personal safety and community security, to arrest and roll back the double rise in crime rate and fear of crime where Malaysians no more feel safe for themselves and their loved ones whether in the streets, public  places or the privacy of their homes.

The  senseless death of latest snatch-theft victim Chong See Chin of Johore Bahru  - claiming one life a month in the past two months - and the crime wave should top the Cabinet agenda tomorrow and the least Ong Ka Ting should do, after conveying condolences to Chong’s husand the family, is to ensure that Cabinet addresses the crime wave crisis at its meeting tomorrow. 

In the past five years, there was an average of at least one death from snatch-theft a year, but this has escalated to one a month in the past two months, with the tragic and senseless murder of Chin Wai Fung and Chong See Chin within a span of 23 days.

Previous cases of deaths because of snatch thefts include:

  • Feb.2, 1999, Kuala Lumpur – car salesman Chee Kok Keong.
  • July, 1999, Penang -  69-year-old woman Lee Poh Keng.
  • August 1999, Petaling Jaya -  78-year-old woman Agatha Chong.
  • July 2001, Petaling Jaya – 58-year-old woman Acharigay Vimalawathi
  • June  30, 2002, Penang – an Indonesian tourist
  • May 2004, Kuala Lumpur – Chin Wai Fun, 37
  • June 2004, Johore Bahru – Chong See Chin, 37

The Cabinet should direct the formulation of an annual National Policing Plan, complemented by a  local policing plan in every police district, setting out the priorities of policing, how they are to be delivered and the  indicators by which performance will be measured.  The National Policing Plan should be formulated, implemented and monitored with the fullest public consultation, participation and involvement  every step of the process  – as no police authority in the world can provide effective and efficient world-class policing service without the fullest co-operation from the public.

The Plan should set targets and time-frames  for reduction of crime, such as snatch thefts,  in the various localities. For instance, every urban area should publicise the “black areas” where crime incidents such as snatch-thefts, are rampant; and the progress to turn these crime “black areas” into “white areas”. When a crime “black area” has been declared a “white area”, it should be a media event to show tangible success in the battle against crime.

Furthermore, the Cabinet should approve the establishment of a parliamentary select committee on crime to fully involve Parliament and MPs regardless of party affiliation in an  all-out war against crime to make the country and local communities safe and secure for all Malaysians.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman