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In the past 30 months since the Royal Police Commission Report crime index has not only increased by leaps and bounds, new forms of criminality have arisen creating even greater fear among law-abiding citizens, tourists and would-be investors

Media Statement (2)        
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Saturday): In the past 30 months since the Royal Police Commission Report and its 125 recommendations in May 2005 to create an incorruptible, efficient, professional world-class police service to reduce crime, eradicate corruption and protect human rights, the scene on the crime front has taken a turn for the worse.

There has not only been a big jump in the crime index, new forms of criminality have been created striking fear among law-abiding citizens, tourists and would-be investors making Malaysia even more unsafe for people and property compared to four years ago.

The Royal Police Commission in its May 2005 Report had referred to the “alarming” and “dramatic increase” in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, an increase of 29 per cent in eight years, and recommended a reduction by 20% in the crime index in the first 12 months.

In actual fact, the reverse has taken place with the crime index set to create a new record in crossing the 200,000 mark this year – a hefty increase of some 30% of the crime incidence in three years from 2004!

Yesterday, Datuk Dr. Maximus Ongkili, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Chairman of the Crime Prevention Foundation, admitted the worsening of the crime index this year with nine reported cases of rape a day in the first nine months of this year as compared to four cases a day in 2003 and 6.7 cases a day in 2006!

A recent public opinion survey found that crime and public safety was rated as the second biggest concern of Malaysians – coming after price hikes and economic concerns.

What must be a matter of grave concern is the creation of new forms of criminality compounding the fear and trauma of Malaysians that they have lost the fundamental and previous freedom from crime and the fear of crime.

This week alone there were two cases of abduction – not of the rich and wealthy but ordinary people. A 28-year-old woman, fashion designer, was abducted in broad daylight in Shah Alam when she was walking to her office to report for work after parking her car at an open car park nearby, and was taken on a 22-hour terror ride to force her to withdraw RM6,000 from her bank ATM account.

Last week also saw baby-abduction in the Kajang Hospital by a 16-year-old girl who ran away with a new-born baby she had snatched – although the mother Norimah Tantalih, 31, was fortunate that the baby was rescued subsequently.

Snatch-thefts have not only increased by leaps and bounds, but have mutated to new criminal forms of smashing cars to snatch hand-bags and valuables inside – not only in broad daylight but in the presence of the woman drivers.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz has confirmed that the long-delayed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill would be presented to Parliament in the current meeting.

The parliamentary debate on the IPCMC bill will be a major debate on the state of crime in Malaysia.

However, up to now, the IPCMC Bill has not been made available to MPs although the Dewan Rakyat has been extended for three days till Dec. 19.

The IPCMC is the key proposal of the Royal Police Commission to undergird its police reform recommendations to achieve the three core police objectives to keep crime low, eradicate corruption in the police force and uphold human rights.

The question is whether the IPCMC proposed in the forthcoming Bill will be by-and-large the external oversight mechanism to monitor and check police abuses of power as recommended by the Royal Police Commission or whether it would be a different creature altogether, without teeth and credibility.


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

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