A message for our cyborg drivers
JUNE 23 — Now, I very seldom broach the topic of statistics because, quite frankly, I let the other Hafiz (my fellow columnist Hafiz Noor Shams) do that.
And when PEMANDU comes out and says that crime rates are dropping nationwide, I would give them the benefit of the doubt. I would. I am that nice.
But when they blame the media for portraying a rise in crime rates, “nice” goes out the window.
It seems that public perception of crime rates was brought to the fore and someone decided to ask PEMANDU about it. So PEMANDU being PEMANDU did what any statistician and factual entity would do, it released the kraken of statistics that has been building up since its conception.
Idris Jala mentioned “430 stories a year of 365 days.”
What he failed to mention was that these were 430 tales of grandmothers being robbed and asking not to be raped, people being robbed while getting into their cars in shopping mall car parks, and even kids being kidnapped right outside of schools.
He’s like Lieutenant Data without an emotion chip. Heck, even his statement was Borg-like. If he were a police commissioner you would have expected him to end the briefing saying that resistance was futile.
You see, fellow friends from Pemandu, “the media” isn’t to blame. The fact remains that the public is experiencing crime and it is a fact that these cases happen to very loud people who make noise on social media, which is then picked up by “the media.”
All the Malaysian media does when a crime occurs or someone dies tragically is to report it either on a factual basis or add empathy to it by saying that person was behaving oddly the night he died ie. started playing Playstation or hugged his mother for the first time in two decades.
If there is one thing the media is guilty of it is that no one has ever done a piece asking PEMANDU this: Out of the 100,000 plus reports filed, how many are white collar crimes, being accusations of corruption, embezzlement of funds, breach of ethics et al.
What’s the diaspora like for these 100,000 plus reports. Is it focused in urban or rural areas? Which states have a higher crime rate and what steps are being taken by the Home Ministry?
Most importantly, why are these statistics under PEMANDU’s purview and not even available on the Royal Malaysian Police website... you mean the police have a cracking social network team that has time to post Facebook photos but not their own statistics?
Perhaps PEMANDU and the police would like to view London’s police website for an idea of just how backwards we truly are as a nation with MSC status since we cannot even provide real-time statistics of a single district, let alone a state, in this federation of ours.
The truth is this public perception of rising crime rates is a problem with perception. Shah Alam, for example, is a safe place to walk in at night, but there are areas in certain sections of the city where crime is prevalent and this creates a perception that the whole city has become unsafe.
Case in point, you have students from UiTM living in the flats of Section 7 which are broken into on a daily basis. And if there’s ever a loud bunch of social media junkies, you can bet these students will make themselves heard everywhere.
Similarly, when a person gets robbed at knife point in the car park of a shopping mall and tweets start flying out to be on the lookout for a certain car with a certain license plate number. Again, the same rules apply, you’re screwed.
Instead, what PEMANDU needs to do is, in a sense, be somewhat political. Sure, highlight the statistics you have, but also highlight how much is being spent in achieving that goal. Talk about how many new police officers are being hired. How much further this will reduce the crime rate.
We are, after all, talking to human beings who have yet to be cybernetically enhanced as you obviously have.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.