Crime has reached an epidemic level in this country with an increase of 13.36% in 2007. This has caused general fear and insecurity amongst the people. Based on the statistics from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), the increase is astounding as it depicts a rise from 209,388 cases in 2006 to 224,298 in 2007 alone.
We cannot but be even more concerned and astonished by the breakdown of the crime incidences. Violent crimes have escalated from 44,016 cases in 2006 to 49,897 in 2007; property crimes have escalated from 165,372 in 2006 to 174,401 in 2007. There is also an increase in rape cases by nearly 30% from 2,454 cases in 2006 to 3,177 cases in 2007; an increase of 723 cases or 29.46%.
CAP is concerned at the violence that seems to be taking root in our society and manifesting itself in various ugly forms. Transgressions that are perpetrated these days rivet the attention of the nation by their innovation and sheer brutality.
It is all the more disturbing when youngsters are involved. These children seem to be getting increasingly vicious – finding new ways to inflict pain on their peers, teachers and parents. Even teenagers and those in their early twenties are being detained for crimes such as assaults, murder and rape.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) views with deep concern the statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, that the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) is re-examining the role of RapidKL after private bus companies complained they were losing passengers because their fares were higher.
CAP questions the Governments rationale behind its propensity for overhead pedestrian bridges. They are an encumbrance to most pedestrians and not a convenience as is the preferred belief. They are also a deplorable waste of public funds.
On Penang island alone there are at least 12 of these overhead bridges. They cost anything between RM750,000.00 (in 2005) to RM1 million or more to build today. A survey by CAP revealed that many were poorly maintained with unswept, waterlogged walkways strewn with rubbish, broken and leaky roofs, unlit or with broken lights as well as with cracked and poorly patched-up concrete steps which are lopsided, irregular in height and unsafe for users, especially the aged and handicapped.