In prohibiting the AWAM anti-rape and violence gathering on Sunday, Brickfields police have sided with criminals and crime when it should have shown solidarity and support for citizen outrage against double rise in crime rate and fear of crime
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): A 14-year-old Form II student in Petaling Jaya told his mother over the weekend that she should not go out shopping alone and should wait until he and his Std. Four brother return home from school to escort and protect her from criminals and bad-hats. This Form II student, who is learning Taekwando in school, said this in all seriousness – an indication of the rising concern among all sectors of society in the country, and particularly in the Klang Valley, about the double rise in crime rate, particularly sex and violent crimes, and the fear of crime.
According to the CID Director Comm Datuk Seri Salleh Mat Som, in the first five months of the year, an average of four women were raped daily while there were three murders in every two days in the country. Last year, police recorded 1,431 rape cases, and 975 of the victims were Malays, 140 Chinese, 103 Sabahans, 90 Indians, 79 illegal immigrants and 44 Sarawakians.
There are many myths about rape: One, that the rape victims are mostly non-Muslims, which should be debunked with the rape victim figures last year given by the police which showed that out of the 1,431 rape cases, 68 per cent of the victims were Malays, 9.8 per cent Chinese, 7.2 per cent Sabahans, 6.3 per cent Indians, 5.5 per cent illegal immigrants and 3 per cent Sarawakians.
Secondly, the myth of safety in day-time, debunked by the abduction and rape of a 15-year Form Three girl when walking along Jalan Kinrara, Puchong at about 3.30 p.m. last Monday on 14th July 2003.
In prohibiting the AWAM anti-rape and violence gathering at Bangsar Shopping Complex and later at the Mid-Valley Exhibition Centre on Sunday, the Brickfields police have sided with criminals and crime when it should have shown solidarity for citizen outrage against the double rise in crime rate and fear of crime and supported the AWAM public condemnation of criminals and crime.
It is most deplorable that the Minister for Women and Family Development, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has come to the defence of the most irresponsible and uncivic action by the police when she should be in the forefront to demand police support and permit for the AWAM anti-rape and violence protest march and rally, not only in Bangsar or Brickfields, but all over the country.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman