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Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on 11.1.2008:

Overcoming Malaysia’s crime crisis requires 100,000 policemen on the streets and the Independent Complaints And Misconduct Commsiion (IPCMC) to prevent more murders of innocent Malaysians and kidnappings of young children by criminals

Overcoming Malaysia’s crime crisis requires 100,000 policemen patrolling the streets and the establishment of the IPCMC to prevent more murders of innocent Malaysians and kidnapping of young children by criminals. Three incidents in today’s newspapers highlight the daily crisis of escalating crime in Malaysia threatening public safety.

One the abduction of five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nashar who disappeared from a playground about 200m from her house in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya Selatan on 9.1.08. Two the RM1.5 million armed robbery of a goldsmith shop in Subang Jaya on 10.1.08 where a security guard was shot. Third the murder of an 80 year old man Tam Yam Keng on 10.1.08 in Pontian (Johor) following a failed robbery attempt.

DAP extends its deepest condolences and sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones or were injured by criminals. The kidnapping a 5-year old girl Sharlinie by a sick criminal has aroused public anger and DAP extends our solidarity and prayers for her parents that she can be found quickly safe from harm.

Whilst the effort by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to personally give to attention to finding the girl is laudable, his efforts appear to be belated and can not help but highlight the failure of the police to prevent or reduce such heinous crimes. Even the UMNO paper New Straits Times questioned this failure and opined that prevention would be better than recovery of the child.

Malaysians hope that Tan Sri Musa’s special task force headed by Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed will succeed in finding the girl, but questions are asked how could this happen again after 5-year old Nurin Jazlin was brutally raped and murdered. Worse Nurin’s murderer has still not been found.

Despite Musa’s promise to reduce crime when he was first made the IGP in 2006 and repeated by him when the government extended his contract by two years in 13.9.2007, Musa’s record in combating crime is one of unmitigated failure. Abdullah had explained the reasons for granting Musa’s extension was Abdullah’s belief that Musa could bring about a transformation in the police force so that it becomes more effective in crime prevention and free from corruption.

Unfortunately the only transformation seen is the public perception of the police become more corrupt and losing public confidence in its ability to fight crime. The crime index has risen every year since Musa became IGP and refused to come down. The latest rise in the crime index with serious crimes rising by 13.4 per cent nationwide last year compared to 2006, particularly gang robbery without the use of firearms rising by more than 159 per cent, gang robbery with firearms by 15%. With the increase in gang robbery, organized crime has taken a whole new meaning in Malaysia.

Putting 100,000 policemen on the streets would only cost us an extra RM10 billion yearly which is nothing compared to the RM20 billion losses from crime in 2007

More repugnant are the 30% rise in rapes  to 3,177 cases and 12% rise in molest to 2,320 cases in 200.7 With 3,177 rape and 2,320 outraging of modesty cases last year, this means that there are 8.7 rapes and 6.4 women molested daily last year. In other words 15 women are raped and molested a day last year. These are only reported figures and the actual rapes and molest cases could be much more as it is generally known that for every report lodged there are as high as 5 unreported cases. Such frightening figures are unacceptable in a civilized and caring society such as Malaysia. 

Abdullah government’s has failed dismally to provide one of the basic functions of good governance which is public safety. The time has come for his to stop being in denial and boldly identify the causes of failure of crime prevention. To do so he must follow former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s approach of “tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime”.  

Abdullah can only be tough on crime by putting 100,000 police personnel to patrol the streets and tough on the causes of crime by improving economic conditions and wiping out police abuses through setting up the IPCMC. There are not enough policemen patrolling the streets and even though employing 100,000 policemen to patrol the streets may be costly, it is a practical and a real solution to rampant crime.  

Putting 100,000 policemen on the streets may cost us an extra RM 10 billion a year but what is RM 10 billion when the nation suffered losses of RM 15.2 billion from crime alone in 2004 and may have cost us more than RM 20 billion last year. Spending RM 10 billion to employ 100,000 extra policemen would not only be cost effective due to the huge financial losses from crime but avoid the physical pain and injury inflicted on innocent victims and their families. 

Abuses of power, misconduct and corruption until senior officers have been charged in court for accumulating extraordinary wealth and complaints of mistreatment have sapped public confidence in the ability of the police. The police would be the first to admit that the battle against crime can only be won with the confidence and co-operation from the public. Only the IPCMC can overcome this malaise within the police force by winning back public confidence and compel the police to refocus on successfully combating crime. 

DAP would continue with our nation-wide public campaign pressing for the adoption of the IPCMC and employing 100,000 policemen to patrol the streets to ensure that Malaysians enjoy the four basic rights of security to work, study, live and study in a safe environment. Public response has been good that the government has tried everything but failed why not try out DAP’s twin proposals?

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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