Police should not be super-efficient to arrest peaceful Malaysians, while utterly helpless at worsening crime situation with new fear among Malaysians

The police arrest of 16 participants of the peaceful Black 505 flashmob at the Sogo shopping centre vicinity in Kuala Lumpur, including women and one child, has raised many questions about the role of the police in ensuring public peace and order as well as upholding human rights which are not complimentary to the police force.

The first question is whether it is not possible for the police to ensure public peace and order as well as uphold human rights without having to arrest the 16 people, including women and a child – bearing in mind Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s boast of wanting to make Malaysia the world’s best democracy?

The second question is whether the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is now cracking the whip in the Barisan Nasional government as it is only yesterday that he urged the government to be “tough and not to give face” to the Opposition which he alleged to “continue to insult the nation’s democratic system”?

Last Saturday, Najib launched a highly-publicised war against crime, and the most powerful critique is not that it came four years too late, resulting in crime becoming the number one worry among Malaysians, exceeding their concern about bread-and-butter issues, but that it marked a new fear of crime among Malaysians.

This is the mass armed gang robbery of shop owners and customers at restaurants and eateries, starting with an open air steamboat restaurant in Cheras by a group of 10 persons armed with parangs and iron rods who robbed more than RM20,000 from the owner and patrons, which has been followed up by a spate of similar crimes of mass armed gang robberies at open restaurants in Kepong, Cheras, Kajang and Petaling Jaya in the past few nights.

Crime in Malaysia seems to have reached a level where criminals are not afraid of the police anymore.

Nobody is impressed by the establishment of a Crime Prevention Department, whose first job is to commission an independent international consultant, Frost and Sullivan, to conduct a study on the level of public satisfaction regarding the effectiveness of police service and their sense of security in the country.

This study is to be done in two phases with the first phase expected to be completed by the end of the year. Second phase to take another year?

Are Malaysians, whether in the Klang Valley, Johor Baru and other “black” areas of crime to continue to live in increasing fear of crime, with the unchecked phenomenon of mass armed gang robberies at public restaurants and eateries, until the international consultants Frost and Sullivan have completed their two phases of study in two years?

The new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and the new Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar should realise that Malaysians want police to be effective to make their homes, the public places and the country safe from crime and not to continue to play politics to be super-efficient to arrest Malaysians including women and a child taking part in the peaceful Black 505 flashmob today.

The police must arrest serious loss of public confidence that despite the highly-publicised war against crime launched by the Prime Minister last Saturday, the police do not have a clue as to what they should do to restore to Malaysians their fundamental right to be free from crime and the fear of crime until they have to commission a study by international consultants – to the extent that there is now a new phenomenon of crime creating horror among Malaysians, where they do not feel safe any more eating out at public restaurants and eateries.

What is the response of new Home Minister and new IGP to this escalation of the crime situation in Malaysia apart from commissioning a study by international consultants?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah