Police response failed to explain the vast double disconnect as safest country in Southeast Asia with the worst fear of crime suffered by Malaysians
While the weeklong belated reply by the PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) public relations officer ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf refuting the “whistleblower” expose “Crime statistics: Let the truth be told” on doctoring of crime statistics is being studied, the bleak and undeniable fact is that the police response failed to explain the vast double disconnect of Malaysia as the safest country in Southeast Asia with double-digit reduction in crime rate yet with the worst fear of crime suffered by Malaysians in the nation’s 55 year history.
Recently, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysians should be proud of the country’s position as the safest country in Southeast Asia in the Global Peace Index.
This was echoed in the 2011 Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Annual Report on Reducing Crime NKRA, which said:
“In the fifth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) released in May 2011, Malaysia was declared the most peaceful country in Southeast Asia and the 4th safest in the Asia Pacific region behind New Zealand, Japan and Australia. The country rose three spots to 19th place, supplanting Singapore as the highest-ranked Southeast Asian nation. In its GPI rankings, the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace also placed Malaysia as the 19th safest and most peaceful country out of 153 nations worldwide. This is the fifth successive year that Malaysia has improved on its GPI score.” (p 55)
In his foreword to the 2011 GTP Annual Report, the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein wrote:
“In 2011, we delivered another year of solid results with lower crime rates reported nationwide…..The journey may be a long and arduous one, but we are committed to ensuring that the rakyat in any part of our nation are safe at all time.”
Do Najib and Hishammuddin really believe not only that Malaysians “in any part of our nation are safe at all time”, but that we have become “the safest country in Southeast Asia”?
Hishammuddin’s home town is Johore Baru and he himself would know what is the answer to the question: Whether one feels safer from crime and the fear of crime in JB or when crossing the causeway to Singapore?
If the answer – and there could only be one answer – is that one would feel safer from crime and the fear of crime when in Singapore than in Johore Baru, how can the Prime Minister and the Home Minister rely on the Global Peace Index (GPI) claiming that Malaysia is the “safest country in Southeast Asia” when crime and safety constitute only one-third of the 23 sub-indicators of the GPI?
The 2011 GTP Annual Report claimed many “Big Wins” in its Reduce Crime NKRA – most importantly:
“39.7% Drop in Street Crime and 11.1% Drop in Index Crime – Malaysia Experiences Back-to-Back, Double-Digit Reductions in Crime Nationwide.”
The GTP and the Reducing Crime NKRA has promised Malaysians “a new era of crime fighting”. Malaysians want assurance that what is really delivered is not “a new era of crime fighting statistics”.
This is why the Prime Minister and the Home Minister must convince Malaysians why there is the the vast double disconnect between on the one hand, the government claim of Malaysia as the safest country in Southeast Asia with double-digit reductions in crime rate yet with the worst fear of crime suffered by Malaysians in nation’s 55-year history!
DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua has pointed out that from the PDRM response to the “whistleblower” allegation of manipulation of crime statistics, although “index crime” had dropped from 209,572 in 2007 to 157,891 in 2011 or 24.7% over the period, “non-index crime” had increased from 42,752 to 72,106 or a massive 68.7% over the same period.
Based on PDRM data, “non-index crime” is increasing annually as a proportion of total crime since 2007 – increasing from 16.9% of total crime in 2007 to 21.9% (2008) to 22.8% (2009) to 29.8% (2010) to a record of 31.4% in 2011.
Is this the result of data manipulation or what the “whistleblower” has charged as a systematic re-classifying of “index crime” to “non-index crime” cases.
What Malaysians would want to know is why the PDRM and PEMANDU have not published any information whatsoever about non-index crime prior to the “whistleblower” expose.
The authorities should release full details about the “non-index crime” for every year for the past 15 years going back to 1997 to enable a verification exercise to be carried out to check on the veracity and authencity of the GTP and NKRA crime statistics.