KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — A lack of employment could be a major source of motivation for criminals in the country, said Datuk Akhbar Satar, the director of HELP University’s Institute of Crime and Criminology.
He also said that it was easy now for people to learn how to commit crimes due to widespread information over channels such as the Internet.
“When people have no job, they feel they have no other way to survive,” he said. “They want a shortcut to get money.”
Akhbar also said that to fight crime over the long term, the country has to cultivate the value of integrity in its citizens.
He noted that no amount of high-tech gadgetry will be able to deter a motivated criminal.
“It’s no use importing expensive systems if people have no integrity,” he said. “If people have integrity, even a simple system is enough.”
He added that it was important that integrity was made part of a child’s upbringing.
Malaysia has an officially low unemployment rate of only three per cent as at May this year.
It also imports millions of unskilled workers to fill vacancies that locals shun.
The high cost of living, especially in urban areas, however, has sent even many employed Malaysians into the ranks of the urban poor.
Public safety vaulted into the headlines in recent months after a string of shocking crimes occurred including attempted kidnappings in shopping malls, deaths by snatch thefts and elderly citizens killed after being robbed in their own home, making many feel that the country has become more dangerous.
The government sought to allay fears over the apparent surge in crime rates by releasing statistics showing the country’s crime index dropped by 10.1 per cent to 63,221 cases in the first five months of this year from 70,343 during the same period last year.
Many continue to doubt the official statistics however due to the sheer volume of anecdotal evidence they encounter from their own friends and family and well as through their social media networks.