Fenced-up neighbourhoods refute crime stats, says PKR
KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — PKR today challenged Putrajaya’s insistence that the crime rate has fallen and the public is satisfied with the police, pointing to the increasing prevalence of gated communities and private security patrolling residential areas.
Its president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said this today in response to heightened fear over public safety after a spate of recent assaults and kidnappings.
“An inordinate number of residential areas are applying to gate up their zones. Security personnel are a common sight. Parents are frightened for their children; the days of children freely moving about in unguarded areas are long gone,” she told a press conference.
PEMANDU, the government’s efficiency unit, and the Home Ministry have said that crime dropped by 11 per cent last year and street crime by 40 per cent since the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) was put in place two years ago.
It has also said that over 70 per cent of Malaysians are satisfied with the police.
But Dr Wan Azizah said the situation in most housing estates “presents a totally opposing scenario.”
“No society can focus on national development and economic activities if the average citizen does not feel safe.
“Security is a vital concern for any government and how secure its people feel will decide how they vote for they are voting to decide who will keep them safe,” she said.
Despite a reported drop in crime rates, another woman was robbed and slashed on her head at the car park of the Mid Valley Megamall in the capital city a week ago, a third such robbery and assault on a woman here in the past month.
The victim was found leaning against a wall with blood gushing from her head, and injuries on her hands.
PEMANDU has also called on the media to play its role in fighting crime and help arrest the “doom and gloom” by reporting on solved cases and not sensationalising crime by repeatedly reporting the same news angle.
But a federal lawmaker from Selangor had questioned the effectiveness of the GTP which singles out Malaysia’s richest state as a “hotspot” for crime after the Home Ministry said crime in Selangor had risen by nearly 12 per cent from 2010 to 2011 or 39,691 to 44,302 cases.
The Home Ministry quickly issued a correction but Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua found that this was at least the third different set of crime figures for his state, creating further doubt over the accuracy of the government’s statistics.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said early this month more must be done to increase public safety, two days after his Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein insisted that “isolated” violent incidents were not indicative of a rising crime rate.