Thursday, June 21, 2007

Malaysian crime story

The Malaysian government has finally woken up from its slumber in the fight against crimes in the southern state of Johor following a public outcry.

According to New Straits Times and The Star today, the cabinet has decided to deploy an additional 400 policemen and 200 more police patrol cars in the state “as soon as possible”. The government has also agreed to police recommendations to set up three new police districts in Johor Baru. Malaysia will deploy 300 police personnel from the General Operations Force and another 100 from the Federal Reserve Unit (Generic pix of riot police from Wikipedia) to patrol the streets of JB over the “next few days”.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said the public should continue to have confidence in the police force. "We are taking immediate action to bring down the crime rate in Johor," he reportedly said.

Will this be enough? Obviously not. In the same papers today, one can read about the brutal rapes of two young girls in JB, and the sensational murder case in Kuala Lumpur of the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu who was killed by a trigger-happy person or persons and then blown to pieces by special army explosives.

It’s good to deploy the no-nonsense riot police under the Federal Reserve Unit but the overall battle plans are just too incremental considering the gravity of the crime situation in JB and KL.

Malaysia must have a long-term action plan against criminals in the country.

First, Malaysia must clean up its own police force. There have been way too many accounts of bribery and trigger-happy policemen in the country. Care must be taken to ensure that policemen do not go overboard in the next few days to prove a point.

Second, it’s time to be more radical and embark on a major blitz against criminals who obviously feel quite at home in JB and KL. This means tackling crimes at the street level and tackling the root causes in crime-infested areas. This could mean installing cameras (with real-time monitoring by real policemen who don’t sleep on the job) in crime-prone areas. And this could also involve move to deport foreigners or banish citizens who engage in criminal activities like pirated VCDs, drugs and prostitution. The laundry list is quite long.

Third, go after the crime warlords. Banish them forever or engineer moles to expose their big brothers (adapted from Infernal Affairs). It’s quite pointless to wipe out the runners if certain quarters in security forces continue to plan “raids” together with warlords.

Without a long-term concerted effort, the warlords and their soldiers will simply take a break and go into a slumber in the next few days, and resurface when the latest police operation is over.


Anonymous said...

After so many years, the Malaysian Government has to bite its own bullets by denying LKY's statement that JB was a place full of crime. Shame of you Ghani & co.

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows to do biz in JB its either you know the Black way or white way if nt cant do biz. this shows that the common lingo is still money.If the police are well paid dun think they want to lose the job by taking bribes. JB with all the bright future of SEZ now looms in the cloud of crime so sad. Had to admit the govt is doing lots of things to change JB but they have to break up the Organized Crime. JB is really a wonderful place to stay or do biz but the crime rate have to crash down

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