Call on IGP Norian Mai to announce a strategy to address the crisis of confidence in citizen security arising from grave and widespread concerns about the deteriorating state of public security because of rising crime rate
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai should announce a strategy to address the crisis of confidence in citizen security arising from grave and widespread concerns about the deteriorating state of public security because of rising crime rate.
The heinous crime in the abduction, rape and murder of Canny Ong should not be the occasion for another “five-minute outrage” to be largely forgotten by all concerned until the perpetration of another atrocious crime.
Policy responses should also not be confined to just better safety and security at complexes in the city, such as mandatory closed circuit television (CCTV) in underground carparks, enough security personnel, patrols, better lightings and alarm systems, but a comprehensive approach to restore to Malaysians the right of ordinary citizens to live in a secure environment without the stifling fear of crime.
The letter by “Mother and Grandmother” in the Sun today, under the heading “Canny’s death preventable” should be the basis for a full police investigation into the tragic death of Canny Ong, not just to solve the crime but also to address the larger issue of public security, as her abduction-rape-murder is the result of a list of failures, negligence and irresponsible actions, not just by the shopping complex but also by the police authorities.
For a start, all shopping complexes should be directed to take down the signages “Park At Your Own Risk”, for while the degree of responsibility of the owners for the safety of car park users have still to be properly determined, they should not be allowed to flaunt any claim of denial of responsibility. Shopping complexes which are not prepared to take down the “Park At Your Own Risk’ signages should not be allowed to operate their multi-level car parks.
The Malaysian Quality of Life Index 2002 prepared by the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department, surveying the 11-year period from 1990 to 2000, reported a sharp fall in the public safety index with the crime rate measured by crimes per thousand population almost doubling from 3.8 in 1990 to 7.1 in 2,000. In the past three years, the crime rate has worsened in many urban centres so much so that even police officers are affected by the fear of crime to stop morning joggings.
The time has come for greater police professionalism and accountability to fight crime in Malaysia and for a police-community approach to make public places safe again.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman