PEMANDU said on July 10 that Malaysia’s crime index fell by 10.1 per cent between January and May this year.
Well, that was what PEMANDU said.
Just last week, the newspapers reported that a businessman became the latest victim of a robbery in a shopping mall car park in Petaling Jaya. Earlier this month, a woman was getting into her car at a hypermarket when a man slashed her left arm and neck.
Somewhere towards the end of June, another woman was reportedly robbed and slashed on the head while she was walking towards her car at another shopping mall car park while another had her finger severed by an armed robber as she stopped in front of her friend’s house in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
And in recent weeks, there was an ATM robbery at a hypermarket that saw about RM1.2 million carted away, a carjacking and kidnapping of a Singaporean family in Johor and a Malacca clerk who died after she fell off her motorbike after being attacked by two men.
Even an MP’s mother was robbed and assaulted in Penang.
The question is: what if both PEMANDU and its detractors (including the ex-IGP) are all correct?
Is it possible that the actual and statistical difference of crime rates is due to the under-reporting of crimes, which is perhaps a reflection of our confidence in the police force?
Or maybe there are victims who prefer not to make reports i.e foreign workers, illegal immigrants? Can it be that reports are not made for fear of criminal retaliation, and the inability of the police to protect them later?
Otherwise, why the disconnect between what is reported, and what is actually happening on the ground?
I disagree with statements suggesting that the fear is only perceived, and is created by print and online media for the benefit of their political benefactors. In fact I feel that they should publicise even more crimes to create awareness and deter other possible criminals, at the same time ensuring that the government and police are constantly on their toes vis-a-vis the general public’s sentiments and fears.
We have all witnessed how detached our politicians can be with general public opinion, from the regulations surrounding the entertainment industry to those affecting national unity.
On a similar note, signing a letter before reading it is as irresponsible as it gets. What more when it involves classified government files or contracts leading to billions of ringgit in value.
One of our ex-ministers is in the soup for sending the then prime minister a letter without verifying its contents; this was revealed in the PKFZ trial. Worse still, the letter had detailed information that did not take place, in other words containing fictitious contents packaged as facts.
The Malaysian Insider quoted him as saying: “I would say this is a shocking letter… because in this (the meeting minutes), the meeting never even took off.”
Oh really? I find it more shocking that a minister can sign official letters without reading them.
Is this how the Malaysian government operates? This may not qualify in the NKRA as an index crime but the enormity of it eclipses any of the other crimes. Imagine if the home minister, the defence minister or even the MPs were to do the same thing, we would be well on our way to join the ranks of failed nations.
We do not need billions of ringgit worth of submarines and jet fighters to run a safe and responsible nation. We need instead good leaders who are responsible, with a finger on the nation’s pulse to run this country of 28 million. Relying only on statistics and consultants while ignoring the rakyat’s concern is a fantastic way to end their term in office.
The government may say that we have the best defence system and that our police are sent overseas for training, but what good is it if the rakyat do not feel safe? Similarly, what is the use of our so-called “world envied” education system when our graduates cannot even speak and write proper English, and are unemployable by international industry standards?
What good will it do in safeguarding our morals when our leaders themselves are found wanting in the same department?
Our politicians should be made to walk on empty and dark streets, or even parking lots at night without bodyguards. They should walk in the footsteps of an ordinary rakyat before commenting on what is real and what is not.
Malaysians need to see and experience the wonderful transformation the government keeps harping about before buying the statistics. That is what smart citizens do.
If the government finds that we are a tough crowd to please, too bad. Either buck up, or get out.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.