Is Zahid now confirming that the PM, Police and previous Home Minister had been wrong about worsening crime situation and the fear of crime?

Beginning this month, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and the police have taken a new tack on the crime situation in the country, as illustrated by his speech on Sunday proposing a restoration of a special preventive law to replace the abolished Emergency Ordinance (EO), viz:

“We were pressured to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) and EO. Look at what happened after that, the crime rate increased and organised and petty criminals came out of the woodwork.”

Although this new official tack on increasing crime in the country is in tandem with the public perception about the runaway crime situation in the country in the past four years, it is in direct conflict with the four-year stand by the Prime Minister, the police and the former Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, that the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) against crime had been a great success since it was launched in 2009 resulting in drastic fall in the crime rate.

Just before Parliament was dissolved for the 13th general election, Malaysians were told that the country’s crime index had decreased by 26.8% since the first phase of the GTP began in 2009 and that Malaysia had been ranked the safest and most peaceful country in South-east Asia according to the Global Peace Index.

Malaysians were told that the country recorded around 550.1 criminal incidents per 100,000 population, placing Malaysia lower than Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain and the United States.

What then is Malaysia’s problem? The official answer is: “The crime rate is down but Malaysians still do not feel so, hence the focus of the second phase of the GTP against crime will be on improving public confidence on safety” – which was why RM272.5 million was allocated in the 2013 Budget to ensure that the rakyat feel safe!

In fact, this claim of relentless fall in crime rate in the past four years continued to be the official stance after the 13th General Election, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak reiterating in his “War Against Crime” speech on June 8 that the crime rate has been falling since the GTP programme against crime, stating that “In April this year, the crime rate dropped by 3.1% compared to the same period last year”.

But beginning in July this year, the new Home Minister and the new Inspector-General of Police seemed to have decided to ditch all the claims about the success of GTP programme in the drastic drop of crime rate in the past four years and instead taken the opposite tack that the country is afflicted with rising crime rate as to justify a restoration of EO-like preventive law.

But where are these new crime statistics?

Is Zahid now confirming that the Prime Minister, Police and previous Home Minister had been wrong and the public right in past four years about worsening crime situation and the fear of crime?

This is a question I put to Zahid during his winding-up of the debate in the Royal Address in Parliament yesterday, but he did not give any satisfactory answer.

Is Zahid prepared to be frank and forthright to state whether Malaysians had been fed false and wrong crime statistics in the past four years, and if so, what assurance can he give that Malaysians will henceforth be given the right and correct statistics about the crime situation in the country?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah