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For Melaka to succeed in becoming an international tourist destination more police are required to check the crime index which rose by 23% in 2006
by Lim Guan Eng
(Melaka, Friday): Melaka’s crime index rose by 23% last year as compared to 2005. This is the fourth highest amongst all states in Malaysia. Melaka’s rise in crime index of 23% is even higher than the rise in national crime index of 15%. If Melaka is to succeed in becoming an international tourist destination, more police personnel are required to check Melaka’s crime index increase of 23%. There were 4,876 crimes in 2005 in Melaka. This rose by 1,102 cases or 23% to 5,978 in 2006.
The Prime Minister must take immediate action to curb crime following the rise in the national crime index of 15.7% in 2006 as compared to 2005. There were 171,604 crimes in 2005 which increased by 27,018 or 15.7% in 2006 to 198,622 crimes. Only more police personnel can resolve the serious crimes threatening the safety of our neighbourhoods and security of our society.
DAP expresses disappointment that crime continues to rise unchecked despite the commitment by the new IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan to reduce crime. The police is trying its best to reduce and check crime. But obviously its best efforts are not enough because of insufficient staff. Malaysia's current ratio of police personnel to the population is far lower than Interpol's requirement of 1:250 or one policeman for every 250 people, whilst the ratio in Malaysia was 1:1,573 or one policeman for every 1,573 people.,
However Malaysia’s present figure of 1:1,573 is even lower if calculated on the basis of crime-fighting police personnel. There are only 8,000 police personnel in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to make our streets safe for 26 million Malaysian throughout the country or 1:3,250 that is only 1 policeman for every 3,250 people catching criminals. Or only 9% of 92,000 policemen catching criminals. The 8,000 policemen involved in checking crime is ridiculous as there are many times more than 8,000 criminals in the country.
With crime spiraling out of control in our cities where students are killed on the streets for their handphones, slashed with parangs for RM 2, openly robbing and carting away the entire ATM machines from banks which are supposed to be very well-guarded, how much can 8,000 policemen do?
In other words, the ratio of 1 policemen for every 3,250 Malaysian is too low. The Royal Commission of Police recommended an extra 35,000 men be redeployed from other services in the police for crime fighting purposes. This will beef up the crime-fighting unit to 43,000 men or 47% of the present police force of 92,000 men.
With 43,000 men fighting crime the ratio would be 1 policemen for every 605 Malaysian, a much more reasonable ratio for the police to effectively fight crime and closer to Interpol’s recommended 1:250. Only by increasing police personnel in crime prevention from 8,000 to 43,000 or 47% of the police force, can the people feel safe that the police are serious in catching criminals.
Malaysians can not wait for the 60,000 extra policemen which would probably only be achieved by 2020. Malaysians have a right to demand extra protection now and the only way to achieve that is by redeploying personnel from other sections of the police force, especially the Special Branch. Why does Special Branch need up to 7,000 personnel in the absence of the Communist threat?
Would not these personnel be better utilized if half of Special Branch personnel are transferred to patrol the streets to catch criminals then spy on law-abiding citizens or disrupt peaceful and orderly meetings held by opposition parties or flood victims protesting against poor rescue and relief efforts? DAP demands that 35,000 out of the present total police force of 92,000 doing other police work not related to fighting crime be transferred to CID to help to check crime.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP