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If Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi refuses to give up the Internal Security Ministry then he should create a new Minister of Crime Prevention that focuses on effective crime prevention and ensure the 4 basic right of security – to live, work, study and play in a safe environment
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is unable to devote full attention to the important Internal Security Ministry with the onerous duties not only as Prime Minister and Finance Minister. Despite many calls that he give up the Internal Security Ministry to another person who can focus on the job full-time to make Malaysia crime-free, the Prime Minister has refused to do so. Such lack of attention has been blamed for the failure of the police to perform their statutory duty in effective crime prevention resulting in ordinary citizens, especially in Johor Baru, living in a state of fear.
Following the gang rapes and robbery of 3 couples, one who was a pregnant lady last month, has struck terror into every law-abiding citizen, Malaysians were shocked at the rape of two young schoolgirls in Johor Baru yesterday. A 16-year-old schoolgirl was raped by four men and another 14 year old schoolgirl by a bogus policeman in two separate incidents within a six-hour period. That schoolgirls so young are frequently raped have caused furious anger and alarmed amongst Johor Baru residents at the inability, incompetence and indifference of the police to stop rampant crime.
DAP wishes to condemn the helplessness of the police from preventing Johor from turning into a lawless state. Serious crime is common everywhere where murders happen also in other states. On Monday, an unemployed Malay man and his seven-month pregnant wife were found murdered in their home in Taman Desa Anggerik in Seremban.
The fact that one of the schoolgirls raped yesterday is a Malay has demolished the pitiful attempt by the police to use the rhetoric of “crime situation should not be politicized and racialized” to distract public attention from police failures. So far the desperate remedial measures by the government is “either too little or too late” and completely inadequate to face up to the task of combating crime. How is 400 additional police personnel three temporary new district police headquarters at Seri Alam, Nusa Jaya and Kulai as well as RM6 million for leasing existing shophouses for temporary shophouses going to stop robberies and rapes from happening daily?.
There must be an attitudinal change in the work ethic of the police force from being reactive waiting for police reports to being pro-active by adopting the philosophy of “Prevention is better than cure”. Instead of waiting for criminals to strike, why not strike them in their lair and hide-outs. After all if the police can track down Islamic terrorists who keep a low profile, there is no reason the police can not hunt down criminals who attract public attention.
Three proposals to restore public confidence in the police force
The public has lost confidence in the police to effectively fight criminals and prevent 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, is far removed from reality. Would the rape and robbery victims believe that? He must motivate his police officers to adopt an attitudinal change with a pro-active approach that boldly admits mistakes with the purpose of correcting them and giving a more effective performance.
DAP regrets that MCA wakil rakyats have failed in their duty to reflect and convey the people’s concerns and the failure of the police. The Prime Minister can not fail like MCA Ministers and wakil rakyats. If Abdullah refuses to give up the internal security ministry then he should create a new Minister of Crime Prevention that focuses on effective crime prevention and ensure the 4 basic right of security – to live, work, study and play in a safe environment.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP