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The removal of DSP Leow Kian Heong from crime prevention unit is necessary to show the commitment of the police to resolve the stigma of sheer incompetence, indifference and inability to deal with rampant crime that has threatened the right to live, study, work and play in a safe and secure environment
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): DAP demands the immediate removal of Johor state crime prevention unit DSP Leow Kian Heong from the crime prevention unit, for his outrageous remarks in blaming others to cover up the police’s failure to seriously address the alarming crime situation in Johor Baru. The removal of Leow is necessary to show the commitment of the Johor police to resolve the stigma of sheer incompetence, indifference and inability of the police to deal with rampant crime that has threatened the 4 basic rights of security namely, the right to live, study, work and play in a safe and secure environment.
At the public dialogue organized by the Johor Baru Tionghua Federation on Sunday, Leow had insulted the audience and Chinese community by saying that the crime situation in Johor is not alarming but had improved instead by 8% as compared to last year. Leow blamed the Chinese press for giving extensive coverage to crime stories that gave the impression of a deteriorating crime situation unlike the English/Malay press that do not have such reports. He even called on not the public not to racialise and politicize the issue.
Johor state crime prevention unit DSP Leow Kian Heong should stop talking like Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman. Such remarks are deplorable and have provoked widespread anger within the community as shown by the loud boos and protest walkouts against Leow during the public dialogue on Sunday. Both the Johor MB and Leow are wrong to try to cover up police failure to deal with rampant crime by asking the public not to racialise and politicize the issue.
The Chinese community can not understand how police incompetence, indifference and inability to stop crime can be racialized and politicized when the victims and criminals come from all races and religions. Or is Abdul Ghani saying that Malays are also not victims of crime? If so, then Abdul Ghani is blind and deaf when last year in Bandar Baru Uda, a Form 3 student Syafiqah Mohd Borhan was found dead in a drain. In 2001 a 10 year old girl Nurulhuda Ghani died after being raped in Gelang Patah by a Malay man.
Punishing the Johor MB for being deaf and blind to the sufferings of crime victims
The public who opposes such irresponsible remarks by the Johor MB can punish him for being blind and deaf to their fears and sufferings of victims of crime by voting against BN in the coming general elections. However, no such action is possible against a civil servant like Leow. Is this the type of work performance of a police officer that the public is paying RM 8 billion extra a year for the civil servants’ 7.5% to 35% pay rise?
Leow has got his facts wrong when he blamed the Chinese press for highlighting crime when he claimed the actual crime situation had improved. The Star Sunday had two full page articles of Johor Baru being a crime-infested city and police ineffectiveness in crime prevention by chief Star Editor Datuk Wong Chun Wai and former IGP Tan Sri Haniff Omar.
Such remarks by Leow are most unprofessional and show his prejudiced mindset against the Chinese press as well as the failure of the police to respect freedom of the press and the right to freedom of information by the public. The police’s claims 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, is far removed from reality. Would the rape and robbery victims believe that?
The heartbreaking losses and painful sufferings of the victims of crime are real. Many are unable to overcome the emotional trauma years later. This is not a political nor a racial issue but a important human and social problem. Leow’s failure as a police officer is to try to cover up police ineffectiveness by blaming others. This is both unacceptable and unforgivable as a professional police officer and a decent human being.
The sufferings of crime victims can not be allowed to go on. The public has a right to get value of their taxes paid with an effective police force to protect them. Leow must be removed from Johor crime prevention unit if the police is sincere about combating crime and ensuring the public the 4 basic rights of security, to live, work, study and play in a safe and secure environment.
Clearly many police officers share Leow’s unhealthy mentality of blaming others for the police shortcomings. Only by teaching a public lesson to Leow, can the police succeed in inculcating a fresh spirit within the Johor police that they are fully accountable for their failure to arrest the alarming crime rate in Johor Baru, that is quickly spiraling out of control and adversely affecting the investment climate amongst investors.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP