OCT 12 — My wife called me up on the phone sobbing uncontrollably, which actually made me panic since she has never done that before.
“I just got robbed!” she sobbed.
“What?” I asked.
“I said I just got robbed!” (Still sobbing.)
“I can’t understand what you’re saying. Stop crying and speak properly!”
“My handbag just got snatched!” (Not sobbing anymore.)
“Oh no! What about the iPhone 4s that I just bought you for your birthday?”
“It was in my pocket, not in my handbag. How do you think I’m calling you now?”
After I was convinced that the brand spanking new iPhone 4s was safe and secure, I asked my wife if she was okay. Fortunately, she was unhurt but shaken.
Also fortunate was the fact that, although she had lost her handbag, she only had about RM30 in it. But of course, her IC, driver’s licence, ATM card and credit card all had to be replaced.
So I wonder who the joke is on here — the guy who got only RM30 for his very risky effort, or my wife and I who were glad that only RM30 was gone.
The issue here is, of course, the rampant crime that is happening in Malaysia and the fact that the government seems to think that this is just a matter of perception.
My wife experienced it first-hand, and so have many other people we know. I have even seen people having their purses snatched on several occasions while having drinks with my friends at night.
So many other journalists and writers seem to have experienced it too, judging by the number of personal accounts published in the media. So I don’t think it is merely a perception.
It makes me even more irritated when the government says that what it needs to do is to battle the negative perception that the crime rate is high.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I wouldn’t even be satisfied if they said that they want to battle crime so people feel safer.
Think about it. The most rampant crimes are really the petty ones, with snatch thefts being the most common. It isn’t exactly serious organised crime.
There has to be other deeper issues that are causing these petty crimes to be occurring at such a high rate. Don’t you think?
I’m no criminologist, psychologist, economist, sociologist, policeman, or politician. I’m just a humble journalist, documentary film-maker, father, husband and Malaysian citizen.
So what I have to say may not carry much weight but hear me out anyway and don’t click the mouse since you’ve already read my column this far.
A person must really be desperate when they feel that they need to go to so much trouble and risk to snatch someone’s purse when the returns may not be that much.
Could it be because he can’t find a job? Could it be because the job he has doesn’t pay enough for him to survive? Could it be because the cost of living is just too high?
It could be so many other factors that are contributing to the feeling of desperation for someone to resort to committing petty crimes.
So I’m guessing that the issue is much bigger than just crime. Maybe more thorough research needs to be done to find out the root cause of the problem and to come up with a solution.
But hey, I’m no criminologist, psychologist, economist, sociologist, policeman or politician. I’m just a humble journalist, documentary film-maker, father, husband and Malaysian citizen.
For the moment, I’m just glad I don’t have to buy my wife a new iPhone 5 just yet!
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.