Is dishonest doctoring of crime statistics the answer to the three-year mystery why Malaysians suffer increasing fear of crime?
At last, Malaysians appear to have got the answer to the three-year mystery why Malaysians suffer increasing fear of crime in the midst of official claim of drastic fall in crime rate.
This came in the form of an email from a righteous and patriotic police officer with more than 30 years in service, which I received on Tuesday, 21st August, during the last day of my four-day 500-km visit to Sabah interior.
The email, under the subject “Crime Statistics - Let the truth be told”, had also been sent to other receipients and has since been published widely on news portals and websites.
In the email, the police officer who said he wished to remain anonymous, wrote:
The police and Pemandu have feigned ignorance about the crime statistics manipulation. The figures dished out does not reflect the actual crime situation. How the figures were doctored is explained in the attached article. In fact the police and Pemandu knows about the manipulation but unable to undo the wrong.
The public's fear is justified. The police are in the wrong track of tackling crime.
This police officer explained in his article:
In 2009, the Government came up with the ‘Government Transformation Program’ (GTP) and ‘crime’ was amongst the ‘National Key Result Area’ (NKRA). The Key Performance Index (KPI) set for the police on the 27 July 2009 under the NKRA was to reduce crime by 20%.
That tall order to reduce crime by 20% was a dilemma for the police. The police knew that the demand is idealistic but not feasible to be achieved. Any criminologist will tell that crime is the product of socio-economic factors and the police being a part of the criminal justice system cannot alone tackle this issue.
However, in upholding the dignity and image, the police succumbed to the political pressure in agreeing to achieve the targeted KPI set under the NKRA. With the prevailing policing standard and practice the police may be able to contain the crime situation to a certain extent, but to reduce it by 20% is absolutely a feat impossible. So, in desperate times, desperate measures are taken.
The anonymous police officer explained and expose in detail the systemic police attempt to lower the crime statistics by shifting the index crime to the non-index crime, as the latter is not considered serious to warrant inclusion in the crime statistics to determine the crime situation.
This run into several thousand cases. For instance:
- Robbery cases under the Penal Code was classified as index crime. This offence is subsequently reclassified as a non-index crime under section 382 of the Penal Code. Since section 382 of the Penal Code is a non-index crime, it will not be reflected in the crime statistics;
- Burglary under section 457 of the Penal Code is an index crime. This offence is reclassified as a non-index crime under sections 452 or 453 of the Penal Code. Since sections 452 and 453 of the Penal Code are non-index crimes, they will not be reflected in the crime statistics; and,
- Causing hurt under sections 324 and 326 are index crimes. These offences are reclassified under section 148 of the Penal Code. And since section 148 of the Penal Code is a non-index crime, it will not be reflected in the crime statistics.
The silence from the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin, the NKRA Ministers Datuk Sri Idris Jalil and Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon in the past three days is both thunderous and deafening for with all the data at their command, they should have been able to instantly rebut the serious allegations of dishonest statistics tampering by the anonymous police officer so as to present a false picture to Malaysians of a drastic fall in crime index in the past three years and to brag about the hollow success of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib’s 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programmed (GTP).
The official theme of this year’s 55th Merdeka Day is “Janji Ditepati”. The anonymous but patriotic police officer who had debunked the false propaganda by the Home Minister and the two NKRA Ministers has underlined how empty and meaningless is this Merdeka Day theme.
If Hishammuddin, Idris Jal and Koh continue to keep their silence on the debunking of the false police claim and statistics about falling crime rate and index, then Malaysians must thank the anonymous police officer for performing his patriotic duty to answer the mystery question in the past three years – why Malaysians suffered increasing fear of crime in the past three years in the midst of official claim of continuous drastic fall in crime rate!
Then the time has also come for the country to have a new Home Minister who is serious about fighting crime and honest with Malaysians about the actual crime situation in the country.