Guan Eng demands police action against Perkasa for threatening safety
KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — Lim Guan Eng demanded today the authorities act against Malay movement Perkasa for threatening his safety, saying that police inaction would only fuel the perception that they condoned the group’s “violent tactics.”
The Penang chief minister described his run-in with Perkasa members at the Teluk Bahang market in Penang yesterday was another act of “intimidation” by the group when they allegedly threw posters at him.
He also claimed that he had been roughed up by a member of the right-wing Malay non-government organisation (NGO) in the marketplace who had charged at him from the back and would have been injured if a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporter nearby did not drag him away to safety.
“The failure by police to immediately arrest Perkasa members involved in violence not just against members of the public and reporters but also make direct threats against my personal safety has only confirmed fears that Perkasa can do no wrong because they are supported by Umno and BN,” he said in a statement today.
Lim (picture) pointed out that the incident had happened even though Penang state assembly speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain had informed the police of Perkasa’s plan to hold the demonstration, and had requested for “adequate protection and stern action.”
Lim added that the police’s failure in protecting him only strengthened claims that the authorities could not ensure public safety in light of the spate of criminal attacks throughout the country.
“Despite recording the second highest reduction in crime index as at May 2012 (a reduction of 23 per cent) police have been under scrutiny in Penang due to several high profile crime incidents in Penang in the heritage, tourist and some housing areas,” Lim said.
A spate of high-profile kidnap attempts and robberies — some of them armed — targeting individuals, businesses and even hospitals has raised concern over public safety nationwide.
Last week, a woman was slashed in the head in the car park of the popular Mid Valley Megamall in the Klang Valley, the third reported case in a month of armed robbers seemingly targeting lone women that garnered wide media coverage.
Earlier this month, thieves carted off millions of ringgit in high-end medical gear from several hospitals around the Klang Valley, including from the public-funded University Malaya Medical Centre.
Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has said that the country’s crime rate is not on the rise despite growing concern over public safety, saying that two recent violent crime cases were “isolated” incidents.
PEMANDU, the government’s efficiency unit tasked with reducing the crime rate under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), had insisted that there has been a drastic drop in such incidences and pointed instead to “unfortunate” media coverage.
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 reduction after the Home Ministry said crime in Selangor had risen by nearly 12 per cent between 2010 and 2011 or the equivalent of a rise of 39,691 cases to 44,302.
The Home Ministry quickly issued a correction but Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua found that this was at least the third set of crime figures released for his state recently, creating further doubt over the accuracy of the government’s statistics.
But Pua, DAP’s publicity chief, had called on the Home Ministry and PEMANDU to “stop blaming crime on ‘perception’.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had two weeks ago said that more must be done to increase public safety, giving his assurance that the government was concerned with “all kinds of violence, including against women”, despite saying that the country’s general crime rate had dipped considerably.