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Why Police cannot give clear-cut assurances that with recent pay increases, Malaysians can be and feel safer in their homes and communities and the public can get better services from the police?

Media Statement        
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Saturday): Another shocking crime report in today’s newspapers – “Man dies in bid to foil car theft” (The Star), how a factory worker Tan Chee Wai, 31, was stabbed to death near his home in Taman Seri Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, at 7 am yesterday to prevent four men from stealing a car.

In Johor Baru, a woman was slashed in the early hours of Thursday morning when she was robbed at a petrol kiosk to refill fuel.

The day before in Johor Baru, a Nanyang Siang Pau woman reporter who had told the Johor State Chief Police Officer the previous day that the crime situation in the town was so bad that she dared not come out at night was herself injured when she was a victim of an attempt snatch theft.

Nobody is safe from crime or spared from the fear of crime, particularly in the hot spots of crime in Johor Baru, Klang Valley, Penang and Ipoh – despite the recent increases in police pay and personnel as well as a lot of P.R. by top police officers.

Even the police are not safe in the privacy of their homes, as illustrated by the case of L/Kpl Redzuan Mat Nor, 41, from the Batu Arang police station, who was badly injured when he put up a fight when three robbers broke into his house in Taman Pelangi, Rawang last Saturday. Redzuan was slashed with a parang.

The question all Malaysians are entitled to demand an answer is why the Police cannot give clear-cut assurances that with recent pay increases, the people can be and feel safer in their homes and communities and the public can get better services from the police, with victims or witnesses to crimes treated better by the police?

The crime index had been on an unchecked increase in the past four years although the police force had set the target of reducing the crime index by five per cent each year while the Royal Police Commission had proposed a more ambitious target of a minimum of 20% decrease in each category of crime within a period of 12 months from mid-2005.

Crime statistics show the police fighting a losing war against rising crime as the crime index worsened from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 226,836 cases in 2006, a sharp rise of 45.1% in the past three years.

In the first five months of this year, crime index has further worsened, with the country recording a 8.7 per cent increase in the crime index between January and May this year as compared to the first five months of last year.

These are reported crimes, as there is a serious problem of unreported crimes with many victims of crimes not lodging police reports because they have no confidence in the police.

It is because of this rising crime in the country that the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance is holding its third public hearing in Bukit Mertajam at Jit Sin Chinese Independent Secondary School at 10 am tomorrow.

The Police have rightly said that fighting crime cannot be left to the police alone. But the Police must demonstrate that it appreciates public assistance by not only sending it top officers to the Caucus public hearing in Bukit Mertajam tomorrow but by declaring that it has no objection to media coverage of the public hearing.

This will be proof that the Police is getting out of its serious denial complex in refusing to admit that it is facing a crisis of confidence as to how to make the streets, public places and privacy of homes safe and secure again for citizens, tourists and investors.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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