Thursday, August 03, 2006

Something's being done about Johor's crime rate

FINALLY!

The plight of Johoreans have reached the ears of Johor's state police chief and today's news is like a breathe of fresh air amid the barrage of bad news dominating the local press recently.

It seems like the police has finally woken up to the sorry state of affairs (pun intended) and the latest brutal murder of a housewife in front of her kids must have hit them hard too.

The STAR, 3 August 2006 (page N33)

Johor cops launch crime prevention operation

JOHOR BARU: Police here have launched a state-wide operation to stem the rising crime rate, including carrying out surveillance at “crime hot spots” and setting up roadblocks.

State deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk Koh Hong Sun said the operation would involve all police stations. “They will be carrying out crime prevention operations using patrol cars and setting up roadblocks,” he said, adding that the operation would be on until Aug 9.

SAC Koh said it would target three rampant crimes in the state – wayside robbery and snatch and motorcycle theft.

“This is a continuation of the previous crime prevention operation held between June 27 and July 11,” he said, adding that crime in Johor Baru had dropped by almost 30% with the deployment of additional manpower from the Federal Reserve Unit.

Among the 16 areas under surveillance in the city are Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Meldrum, Kotaraya, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Lingkaran Seget, Jalan Dobi, Jalan Ungku Puan, Jalan Trus, Jalan Swee Nam and Jalan Nge Heng.

SAC Koh also said police would meet with representatives from major banks in the state soon to forge better co-operation. “We hope the public can continue channelling information to us through our hotline or RakanCop,” he said. He added that more than 4,924 Johoreans had registered as RakanCop members since it was introduced early this year.

The public can contact the police hotline at 07-2254 499 or 07-2212 999 or SMS RakanCop at 32728.

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My only grouse: Why should the operation be targetted to last only for a week, until August 9?

Crime prevention should be an on-going exercise on a longer term basis for it to be effective, especially so in a crime-infested city like JB.

And curiously, there is this update in The Star's on-line portal today, further fine-tuning the proposed operation to make it more effective, but yet no mention that this exercise should be something which is made a permanent agenda of the state police force:-

Johor adds Chinese SMS into Rakan Corp programme

JOHOR BARU: If the language barrier has deterred some from the Chinese community to join Rakan Cop, it will no longer be a problem soon as the Johor police are incorporating Chinese a short messaging service (SMS) into the programme.

Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Hussin Ismail said once launched, Johor would be the first state to have such a service. The service, he added, should be in place in two to three weeks.

“Some people may not be signing up with Rakan Cop because Bahasa Malaysia could be an obstacle for them. We don’t want that to be an obstacle, because everyone has a responsibility to take care of themselves, their housing area and their family,” said he said on Wednesday at a dinner with 30 Chinese associations under the Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Federation.

Recently, the Johor Baru (Zon Barat) MCA and the Johor Baru (North) police headquarters also came together to set up a crime victim assistance team to help those in the Chinese community in Skudai who have difficulty in lodging police reports because they cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia.

DCP Hussin urged those who did not know how to contact the police to call the hotline at 07-2212 999 or send an SMS to Rakan Cop at 32728.

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The government can no longer deny that our country has a serious problem dealing with snatch thieves who have turned menacingly dangerous with no qualms to kill their victims whether provoked or not.

It does not matter where it happened, be it KL, JB or elsewhere, ultimately it is always heart-wrenching to hear of victims dying in the hands of these scums, all for want of a paltry sum they carry in their pockets.

That the Prime Minister has taken notice of this despicable crime bringing much grief to the families of the victims is heartfelt.

PM wants theft curbed and the public kept safe

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants “things to be done” and the public kept safe, as he is concerned over the increasing number of violent snatch thefts.

Police had been asked to beef up patrols and surveillance to prevent snatch thefts and violent acts, said Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

He said Abdullah and Cabinet ministers were briefed by Housing and Local Government Minister and MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting on two incidents where Tunku Abdul Rahman College students had fallen victim to violence.

The Cabinet was told that accountancy student Lee Khian Yip, 18, died from slash wounds inflicted by two men on a motorcycle in Wangsa Maju on Saturday. Another student, Phang Kar Wei, 23, was repeatedly assaulted and slashed three times on his neck and hands, also by two men on a motorcycle just 15 minutes after Khian Yip was attacked. Kar Wei was assaulted in Taman Melati, about 2km from Wangsa Maju.

Radzi said the Cabinet was shocked to hear from Ong that a “large number” of the 2,000 people at an open forum on Tuesday were snatch theft victims.

“While the police have done a lot to overcome this problem, more needs to be done,” he told reporters after his ministry’s weekly post-Cabinet meeting. “That is why the Prime Minister wants something done.

“On the Government’s part, we have amended the Penal Code to reflect the severity of the crime. Those who commit snatch thefts will be dealt with severely by the law.”.

He said Section 390(e), on snatch theft, would send a clear message to offenders that it would be treated as robbery, and no longer as theft, where they could be jailed up to 14 years and be whipped.

Radzi said snatch thefts in Kuala Lumpur had declined due to closed-circuit television cameras having been placed in “critical areas” to monitor the situation. “The public must also play their part by being vigilant and careful about their safety. They should not take their safety for granted. If they take more steps to look after their safety, then half the battle is won,” he said.

Related Story: Police step up manhunt in Setapak to nab suspects

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I have just one appeal to the cops:

Make this crime prevention operation a permanent agenda in your on-going efforts to protect our citizens from dying needlessly in the hands of these criminals!

And a reminder to all Johoreans and visitors to this city-state:

Remember this number: POLICE HOTLINE 07-2254 499 or 07-2212 999 or SMS RakanCop at 32728.

If you encounter problems getting the co-operation of the police in handling your relevant problems, please contact your nearest elected representative office for assistance.

You will be heeding the call from our Prime Minister to "Work with Him" in tackling the rising crime problem by being proactive.

May Johoreans see a return to times of peace and prosperity soon!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Helen said...

For snatch thieves incidence, I humbly believe the responsibility lies on the individual more. People read the papers and get adamant about snatch thieves, but they got to honestly ask themselves what are they doing differently to prevent ending up victims themselves?

I believe it would help if the garmen could educate the public on certain precautions they could take.

Take a look around and you'll be surprised at the number of walking potential victims around you... especially those walking and chatting on the h/p. :-)

4/8/06 09:28  
Blogger Kenny Ng said...

Just discovered your blog, it's nice and I like it. Where did you found all these news? It's kinda my favorite in current issues in this country. Keep it up!

6/8/06 01:59  
Blogger Twisted Heels said...

Hi!

Not sure about Johor but over here, everyone (the Msians)are talking about the KTAR student. It makes me feel unsafe that crime rates has been increasing without any improvements.

6/8/06 05:22  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Helen: I'd like our police to play a better role in law enforcement & internal security. We taxpayers and loyal citizens of this country deserve better protection of our safety in public places than what we are getting now. That's the reason why I'm angry with the present state of affairs.

Kenny Ng: Hi & welcome to my blog! Glad you like what you see here and thanks for your nice comment. I appreciate it :-)

T.heels: I guess the poor victim from TARC got wider news coverage in the local media because MCA raised the issue in the Cabinet. Remember, TARC is very closely associated with the MCA.

I feel sad each time I read about another dead snatch theft/robbery victim in the news - makes me wonder again and again why our authorities are not making a greater effort to wipe out this menace.

All I can helplessly do is to pray for the souls of the victims and the families they leave behind. Somehow their cruel fate affected me in ways I myself cannot understand.

6/8/06 18:18  

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