The southern Malaysian city of Johor Baru is just next to Singapore but they are definitely worlds apart. Unlike Singapore that is very safe, the crime level in JB doesn't seem to be abating despite efforts to beef up security in the state.
Former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew was definitely correct when he said in a defamation suit in 1997 that the Malaysian state was "notorious for shootings, muggings and car-jackings". Although Kuan Yew had expunged the remarks in order to maintain friendly relations between Singapore and Malaysia, the remarks still strike a chord among residents in the state.
Third Aunt was robbed recently. Sixth Aunt was also robbed recently by a knife-wielding man in front of her house behind the popular Holiday Plaza mall. She highlighted this story in The Star on March 19 in which a businessman -- Low Ee Chong (as shown in The Star pix) who is the brother of Pengkalan Rinting state assemblyman Low Teh Hian -- was badly injured and robbed in front of his house.
The headline of Sixth Aunt's e-mail: How to live in JB with so much crime!!!! Indeed. There are many other horror stories.
But it's not time to talk anymore. It's time to go on a massive anti-crime blitz in the MSC state -- not the Multimedia Super Corridor but Mugging, Shooting and Car-jacking state.