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Public boos for the police show public anger at sheer incompetence, indifference and inability of the police to deal with rampant crime and ensure citizens, especially women, the 4 basic rights of security – to live, study, work and play in a safe and secure environment
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): DAP is not surprised at the public anger of the residents in Johor at the gross ineptitude of the police until the police representative was roundly booed frequently and suffered the indignity of “walk-outs” during a forum on crime organized by the Johor Baru Tionghua Federation yesterday. Public boos for the police show public anger at sheer incompetence, indifference and inability of the police to deal with rampant crime and ensure citizens, especially women, the 4 basic rights of security – to live, study, work and play in a safe and secure environment.
The public has lost confidence in the police to effectively fight criminals and preent crime. To restore public confidence, three things must be done. As a first step, DAP urges the government to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Police. The IPCMC is required to check police abuses and improve police integrity and performance so that the people in Johor and Malaysia can live, study, work and play in a safe and secure neighbourhood free from crime.
Two, the government must be prepared to set out RM 5 billion in emergency allocations to form a fighting police force that is competent, courageous, sensitive and committed to fighting criminals. The people have a basic right to a crime free environment as taxes have been paid to form an effective police force.
Third, Inspector-General of Police(IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hasan should publicly apologise for failing to stop rampant crime in Johor. On 2 June 2007, the IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan announced that Johor’s crime rate has dropped by nearly eight per cent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. Two weeks after Musa’s announcement, the frequency of violent crimes such as rapes and robberies of three couples including a pregnant woman in Johor Baru, shows that these figures of falling crime rate in Johor are misleading.
Women in Johor are living in a state of fear from snatch thefts, robbery and rape. Unfortunately, the police continues to be in a state of denial by blissfully ignoring the alarming crime situation that is deteriorating daily, boasting instead that effective crime prevention has caused a 8% decline in crime rate for the first quarter of the year. These heartless criminals have proven the extent of lawlessness in the state as well as helplessness of the police force in fighting crime.
The assault, robbery and rape has struck fear into the hearts of local residents in Johor as well as investors. What is worse is the complete indifference and irresponsibility of police officers who failed to act when the brother of the male victim sought help from a passing patrol car, who just drove off without any effort to help or save the victims. Such an irresponsible attitude is both unforgivable and unacceptable. DAP demands that the police personnel in the patrol car be immediately sacked for gross dereliction of duty.
The IGP should stop misleading the public that crime prevention is effective in checking criminal activities but face reality that they have failed to perform. Only by admitting their weaknesses, then only can a new plan not only to fight crime but also root out police officers who are either lazy, irresponsible in their duties or corrupt. Failure to provide a safe and secure neighbourhood is a failure of governance that deserves severe punishment by all Malaysians in the next general elections.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP