We must be made to feel safe and secure

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%.

Unarmed group robbery had increased to 4,344 or 159.3% the whole of last year compared to 2006. There were 7,067 cases reported in 2007 compared to 2,723 cases in 2006.

Extortion was also on the rise by as much as 21.20% and victims of harm caused intentionally (under section 324/326 of the Penal Code) increased by 16.48%.

However there was a slight decrease in the homicide cases from 606 (2006) to 588 (2007) or by 2.97%; unarmed robbery had also scaled down from 19,467 (2006) to 17,241 (2007) and armed robbery from 48 (2006) to 202 (2007)

Selangor recorded the highest crime incidences of 15,104 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur with 7,639 and Johor tailing with 6,900 cases in 2007.

It has to be admitted that crime trends especially involving offences by foreigners are more gruesome and sadistic beyond what the police and even the victims could imagine. Criminals are becoming more sadistic with no human feeling when inflicting pain on the victims. Torturing and murdering victims even to the extent of cutting them into pieces and burning the victims hoping to destroy any trace of evidence is becoming common.

The easy availability and use of fire arms is also mind boggling and looks as though our country is turning into a heaven for easy access to fire arms. Media reports in August 2008 had indicated that the country may be facing a great danger of public security when smuggling of fire arms, drugs and cigarettes is becoming rampant.

This present unacceptable scenario compels the government to be more pragmatic and there is a need for a proactive approach to find ways of curbing this trend. Although there is a notion that foreigners have been one of the sources of this unwelcome trend, a thorough study has to be conducted to ascertain the root of this predicament.

CAP calls on the government to set up an independent commission to look into the rise in crimes in the country and to formulate a comprehensive plan of action to combat the trend. The commission should also come up with recommendations to effectively address the problem. Malaysians must not live in fear and it the right of every citizen to feel safe and secure.