Penang should be the model state in Malaysia to stamp out the rising crime wave in the country with a world-class police service to reduce the double rise of crime and the fear of crime to make the state safe for its citizens, tourists and industries
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): In keeping with the state motto “Penang Leads”, Penang should be the model state in Malaysia to stamp out the rising crime wave in the country with a world-class police service to reduce the double rise of crime and the fear of crime to restore to the people their fundamental right to a crime-free, safe and secure environment to live, work and play and to make the state safe for its citizens, tourists and industries.
There are several areas for joint co-operative action by the police, political parties, NGOs, community organizations and the civil society to restore public confidence in the professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness of the police service to reduce crime, the fear of crime and reassure the people about the safety of the streets, public spaces and homes.
Firstly, the restoration of political leadership and responsibility for the delivery of a professional, efficient and effective world-class police service.
Parliament and the Penang State Assembly should make up for their failures in the past to give top priority to the important subject of law and order to ensure the safety of citizens, tourists and industries as well as the fundamental right to live and work in a safe environment without fear of crime by having annual debates on the issue. A national and state policing agenda for the reduction of crime and the fear of crime is not just a police responsibility but also a political and community responsibility which should be the constant top priority of the Federal and state governments, Parliament and Penang State Assembly.
Secondly , formulation and publicity of an annual Penang State Policing Plan, complemented by a local policing plan in every police district, setting out the priorities of policing, how they are to be delivered and the indicators by which performance could be measured by political leaders, civil society and the media. The performance indicators should be simple measures for each of the key policing activities such as reducing crime, how safe the public feel wherever they live, how effective the police force is in dealing with crime or how efficient the force is.
Thirdly, establishing a Penang Policing Forum to provide a formal structure to involve the various communities and the civil society, including political parties, NGOs and professional groups, to consider the key elements of the annual state and local policing plans and to monitor their performances.
The Penang Policing Forum should be the vehicle for public input and interactions with the police as to how to achieve a modern, professional, competent and responsive police force which could deliver quality world-class police service to reduce crime, the fear of crime and reassure the people about the safety of streets, public spaces and the homes, dealing with subjects such as:
The frank and cordial meeting between the Penang State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Othman Talib and DAP leaders and MPs at Penang Police Headquarters on Monday where the state police chief acknowledged the need for police-public co-operation to provide a safe and secure environment for Malaysians to live, work and play and his ready agreement to attend the next Penang DAP forum to reduce crime and the fear of crime are a good start for Penang to become the model state in the country to stamp out the rising crime wave in the country and show the way for police-public co-operation.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman