Banks rethinking ATMs in malls, marts, petrol and rail stations
KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Banks are mulling moving their automated teller machines (ATMs) located in malls, supermarkets, petrol and rail stations to safer spots after a recent spate of high-profile robberies in the Klang Valley, its association chairman told the New Straits Times.
Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar (picture), who is Maybank chief executive, was reported saying the banks were evaluating and rating their ATMs, placed “off-site” nationwide according to their risk levels.
“The off-site ATMs will not necessarily be relocated back to the banks as the current sites are constantly being evaluated and categorised according to risk,” he was reported saying in a statement to NST.
“Off-site” ATMs refer to machines placed outside banks such as at petrol stations, shopping complexes, hypermarkets and supermarkets and the light-rail transport (LRT) and commuter train stations.
According to NST, there are some 9,200 ATMs nationwide as at December last year, but it did not state how many were located off-site.
The banks have been losing hundreds of thousands of ringgit from these off-site ATMs in four months, the most recent being RM1.17 million stolen from ATMs at the Carrefour hypermarket in Wangsa Maju, a densely-populated suburb in Kuala Lumpur, on July 1.
Two weeks ago, a gang of thieves broke into an ATM at another supermarket in Taman Melawati and got away with RM80,000. On June 12, RM48,000 was stolen from an ATM in the Subang Jaya commuter train station.
In May, RM260,000 was looted from ATMs in two separate incidents — one at a mall in Balakong and the other at the University LRT stop in the city.
In March, thieves stole RM200,000 from an ATM in Universiti Malaya, the country’s premier institute of higher education.
The authorities have insisted that the country’s crime rate is on the decline but many Malaysians are now beginning to feel the streets are not as safe as the statistics claim.
A non-political, non-governmental group calling itself Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and snatcH or “MARAH”, which in Malay means “angry”, launched an online petition recently with a signature target of 100,000.
MARAH founder, former journalist Dave Avran, told The Malaysian Insider that he had created the group after reading the many recent cases of muggings, robberies, rapes and snatch theft in news reports.
“We are strictly a non-political, non-religious, colour-blind citizen’s initiative who care enough to lobby for the safety of all Malaysians in general and females in particular,” the group describes itself on the petition.
“We are campaigning for safer car parks, safer streets, and the right to be safe in and outside our own homes.”
MARAH was created on Causes.com, an online advocacy and fundraising application within social networking website Facebook
The petition also features a short note addressed to the Selangor government and the federal government, where MARAH signatories offer their services to help the authorities combat crime.
“We will share info, tips and resources, name names, post pictures and videos and list the convicted perpetrators in our Hall Of Shame,” the note reads.
“We will lobby for increased police patrols, protection and enforcement of existing laws against rapes, robberies, snatch thefts and abductions, particularly in shopping mall car parks,” it says.