Sunday, April 23, 2006

JB gets Bukit Aman attention, Selangor next?

I woke up this morning to a wet wet Sunday.

The clouds broke, pelting everything with huge drops of rain. It didn't last long though. The drenching stopped an hour later, saving me the task of watering the garden.

And I also woke up to a small piece of welcoming news in The Star here. After all the emotional ranting of the past week, you will understand why it makes my heart glad just to hear that something is being done to address the problem of escalating crime in Johor.

JOHOR BARU: Bukit Aman is placing a lot of emphasis on Johor and particularly this city, which accounts for about 70% of the crimes recorded in the state, said Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow.

The Johor police, he said, faced a shortage of manpower and facilities.

“They are trying their best to bring the crime rate down, but are held back by these problems.

“The average ratio of a policeman to residents in the country is 1:411 but in Johor, it is 1:568.

(From right) Fu talking with Johor police chief SAC Datuk Amir Sulaiman and CID chief SAC Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar in Johor Baru on Saturday.
“The number does not include the floating population or people who move in and out of the state.

“If we take these into account, the ratio could be as high as 1:800,” he told reporters after visiting the state police headquarters here yesterday.

“As such, the police are deploying personnel from low crime rate areas to those with a high rate to counter staff shortage.”

Fu said the police had received approval for recruiting another 24,000 personnel into the force nationwide but so far, only 10,000 were recruited due to limited training capacity.

He said Johor had received an additional 170 patrol vehicles.

“We cannot keep adding vehicles if there is no one to man them,” he said, when asked how many more patrol cars would be made available to the police here.

He added that two new police district headquarters would also be built to replace the current ones.

On another matter, Fu said many people who claimed that the police did not act on their reports could have misunderstood matters.

“After lodging police reports, it is hard for the people to get feedback on the action taken by the police. They think the police are not doing anything about it,” he said.

Fu said some of the cases reported were civil cases, and did not fall under the purview of the police.

“In future, people who lodge such reports will be advised to file civil suits,” he said.


At last, someone important wants to talk about this problem. I commend The STAR for highlighting the deep concerns of almost every peace loving citizen of this country.

The level of success the police can ultimately achieve in lowering the crime rate in JB will speak volumes about the commitment given to tackling this issue. Sometimes, good intentions and lofty words do not translate very well into actions. And I don't mean to be cynical or too critical of our police force and politicians. I just hope they will prove me wrong.

The STAR also reported yesterday that rape cases in the country went up by almost 10% in 2005 compared to the year before and crime overall grew from 156,455 in 2004 to 157,499 last year. I wonder what the statistics looked like comparing the 2005 figures with those in 1985.

The state with the most reported crime was SELANGOR, which accounted for more than 28% of the cases nationwide.

“Internal security, especially crime, is the most hotly debated topic now and tackling it is so important because reducing crime is a prerequisite to ensuring the growth and development of a country,” said Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow.

Is this too good to be true?

Please don't let these noble words end up as another case of "hangat hangat tahi ayam".

Surely we all deserve to live peacefully in a relatively crime-free environment amidst all the first class infrastructure that we have built over the years.

Will more people and more public media take up the challenge to push for the SAFE CITY concept nationwide?

I certainly hope so.

Let's all do it, for us, our loved ones, our fellow Malaysians, our guests, for the love of this country and the economic prosperity that comes with it.

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