KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Crime in Selangor has risen by nearly 12 per cent from 2010 to 2011, leading a federal lawmaker from the state to question Putrajaya’s Government Transformation Plan (GTP) which singles out the Klang Valley as a priority for crime reduction.
A written response to Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, which he said was delayed by three months from the March parliamentary session, showed that despite crime falling drastically from 56,689 cases in 2009 to 39,691 in 2010, it then shot back up to 44,302 last year.
Violent crime in Selangor, which has recently sparked fears over public safety in the Klang Valley after a spate of assaults and kidnappings, also dropped from 12,435 in 2009 to 7,853 in 2010 before spiking to 8,141 last year.
“While the overall crime levels dropped from 2009 to 2010 due to the initial flurry of police activities after the National Key Result Area (NKRA) on crime (under the GTP) was launched, crime is definitely on the rise again,” the DAP publicity chief said.
Pua (picture) also pointed out that this was despite “many major cities in the Klang Valley being turned into ‘war zones’ with barricades, security checkpoints and boom-gates” set up by private residents at their own expense.”
“Despite this, crime is still going up, accentuating the lack of policing on crime and the failure of the NKRA which specifically targets Selangor for crime reduction,” he told The Malaysian Insider later.
Pua also called for the Home Ministry and PEMANDU, the federal government’s efficiency unit that runs the GTP, to “stop blaming crime on ‘perception’.”
PEMANDU insisted last week that the crime rate has been drastically reduced, pointing instead to “unfortunate” media coverage as the cause for heightened concerns over public safety.
Several high-profile kidnappings and two assaults in the Klang Valley, one leaving a teacher fighting for her life, have led the opposition to question Putrajaya’s efficiency unit’s claim that crime dropped by 11.1 per cent last year with street crime falling by 39.7 per cent in the last two years.
“If you divide by 365 days in a year, you have an average of 430 stories a day. You can more than fill the entire newspaper with crime,” PEMANDU chief executive Datuk Seri Idris Jala had said, referring to the 157,891 reports of crime last year.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said it was “unfortunate” that the media had reported the crime rate has increased when in 2009 there were 209,825 reports.
“I wish this (the reduction) was the story (in the media). When people tell me about a crime, I say I can tell them there are another 157,000 crimes. The point is it has reduced, but not to zero,” the senator added.
Idris also said in April the reduction was achieved by redeploying 21,600 policemen to police crime hotspots in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang while Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has said in 2010 that 7,402 desk-bound policemen were sent out to the field.
But Pua said today the government was using “selective statistics and hiding behind national indices to mask their failure in hotspots like Selangor.”
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said early last week that more must be done to increase public safety, two days after Hishammuddin insisted that two recent violent incidents were not indicative of a rising crime rate.
The prime minister gave his assurance that the government was concerned with “all kinds of violence, including against women”, despite saying that the country’s general crime rate has dipped considerably.
But Hishammuddin had earlier insisted 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.
“The numbers have not increased from the past. One or two cases... you show me one country where there is no kidnapping.
“Don’t exploit [the incidents] to make this something political,” he had told reporters, referring to Saturday’s assault and mugging of Bersih steering committee member Wong Chin Huat.
Wong was left bloodied after being attacked while jogging in Petaling Jaya, while teacher Teoh Soo Kim, 51, is fighting for her life after suffering severe head injuries during her abduction nine days ago.
Besides the two bloody attacks last week, a spate of kidnap attempts has raised concern over public safety.
A 12-year-old in Ipoh and a 20-something in Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya narrowly escaped abduction in the past week, episodes that followed after the high-profile ransom case of 12-year-old Dutch national Nayati Moodliar, which gained international media coverage.