Friday, November 13, 2009

Crime in Malaysia - Apparently good political dividend to some!


I have received many responses via emails and sms with regards to my comments in Parliament on the 11th November 2009.  This was during winding up debate by the Minister of Home Affairs, YB Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Apparently some people took offence to what I had said in response to Lim Kit Siang's comment that the country's crime was getting out of control and that major cities in Malaysia like Johor Baru were "capitals-of-crime". Lim Kit Siang (LKS) further said that people were rushing to have gated community and this can only mean one thing - Malaysians are living in constant fear.

During the debate, when LKS said that the rush to have gated community was an evidence of people's fear of  increase in crime, I stood up and disputed that fact. I said that was not the only reason why people wanted gated community. 

I know a lot of people who setup gated communities because they want some "exclusivity" ie not to be disturbed by intrusive "tong gas" and "mattress' peddlers. They also do not want their streets to be used as short cut routes by outside motorcars and thus endangering their children who play in the streets. There is also a lot more people who want gated community because it enhances the values of their real estate property.

Now, I dont doubt that there are people who want gated communitey as a means to prevent crime from happening in their neighbourhoods. But to take that as a basis of a wild accusation that this country is now utterly unsafe and that the people are constantly living in fear is stretching the facts too thin. LKS should be more responsible in making that conclusion.
My problem with opposition MPs is this. They like to make sweeping statements to paint a picture of total mayhem in this country. What normally started as valid arguments would always turned into some posturing by them to score political points. That is not being responsible. Consider the statement made by YB Puan Teo Nie Ching (DAP - Serdang) during the same debate. 

She quoted a remark by some people she met during her visit to Johor Baru recently to justify that this country is crime-infested. She said, "Apa yang orang Johor Baru memaklumkan kepada saya bahawa sekiranya  seorang kata bahawa beliau tidak pernah dirompak atau tidak dirompak di Johor Bahru, maka beliau bukan seorang yang daripada Johor Bahru. ( If you have not been robbed or mugged in Johor Baru, then you cant called your self coming from Johor Baru)". 

How can she make that sweeping statement in the august hall of Parliament? Do the voices of her handful DAP supporters represent the voices of the close to 1,000,000 people of JB? Is the story even true?

Lets ask these questions.

Is crime on the rise in this country? Yes it is. Even BN MPs are concern. Much have been debated by BN MPs in parliament about this issue. We spoke about, among others,  under funded police force, mismatching priorities, inadequate equipment, delay in prosecution and corruption in police force. 

Is it getting out of hand and is Malaysia utterly unsafe? Of course not. 
Firstly, in countries where there is rapid urbanization and more people feel economically marginalised, incidences of crime do go up. It is a normal phenomenon in developing countries like Malaysia. It is still a problem and we have to tackle it. 

But to say Malaysians are living in constant fear  as if the criminals were running the country is unacceptable. By shouting Johor Baru as the "capital of crime" at the top of his lungs, LKS was more interested in scoring political points than discussing the issue rationally. 

Secondly, when prominent leaders like LKS keep repeating his mantra about how Malaysia is succumbing to crime and give scant mention about what the government has been doing to address the issue, he is just being politician.

Thirdly, the opposition like to quote the rise in crime index. The index crime went thru the roof in recent years partly because of the decision by Police to include several new categories which were not indexed before. This move bloated the index. 

Another thing, despite repeated attempts by the opposition to discredit the government, the fact of the matter is much of the crime in this country is not about murders, snatch thefts, break-ins or pick pockets. The main component of crime index is actually vehicle thefts (more than 50%), and it is mostly motorcycles and lorries (especially those abandoned by the roadside). But why do opposition harp on incidences of murders, bereak-ins and snatch thefts? Because citing them bring about political dividends. It is easy to get people emotionally worked up seeing an old woman dragged for 20 metres by snatch thief or a man shot point blank. It is traumatic and barbaric. It is an easy way to blame the government.

Fourthly, when my friend YB Tony Phua (MP PJ Utara) stood up in the debate and asked me to visit his constituency to see what he claimed "the sieged urbanites", I was tempted to stand up again to reciprocate his invitation. I wanted to ask him to go to my constituency and see how peaceful it is. No doubt he would jumped off his seat and say, "but Kota Belud is a rural area and PJ Utara is urban. YB tak boleh compare macam tu!! Thats not fair!..".  But that is exactly my point! PJ Utara and Kota Belud are totally different settings altogether!. So isnt better to confine the problem to the Klang Valley and leave the generalisation alone. PJ Utara might be facing crime problems but Kota Belud is not! Malaysia as a whole is not crime-infested, PJ Utara is!!

Have the government responded to the increase of crime in recent years? Of course they have. Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to second 1100 officers of RELA and Jabatan Pertahanan Awam into police force. More money is spent on new police stations throughout the countries and more allocation is given to training. In addition, more CCTVs are installed to provide better deterrent effect in areas prone to crimes. Infact Ministry of Home and the police have been given strict  KPIs in the NKRA objectives as announced by the PM recently.

Crime is certainly an issue that concern everyone. In fact no matter what we do, it will never go away because crime is always an issue as long as there are irresponsible people living in our midst. So the question is how do we manage it. I agree police needs to buck up but it doesnt help if certain parties dish out sweeping statements, grand standing and rhetorics like what LKS and Serdang MP did in the debate in Parliament.

Thank you.


For reference please click here for the Parliament Hansard on this particular debate (scroll down to page 168 onwards).


  1. Hi YB,

    You are as sweeping as those you accuse of making sweeping statements, your response seem more like an emotional rant.

    Fact of the matter is, unless a community is sold as gated and guarded project, gating it on your own due to crime WILL NOT ADD VALUE TO THE PROPERTY.

    The focus is on crime but you sweepingly INSULT every single person who live in crime infested area who have to put up with it whereas LKS who make sweeping statements are insulting only those who should feel insulted, that is the difference.

    I am the one who posted in Tony Pua's forum. I live in Kota Kemuning in the ungated phase. The police station here will tell us why don't we gate up our area whenever we report a crime. These was once, a neighbour saw suspicious character in her area and called the police station and was told to 'call the security' in her area first, never mind that her area is not gated. With such an attitude and with the police pushing people away and asking them to call their own 'security guards', what the hell do you want us to do? And you want to bang us in parliment for wanting exclusivity?

    A piece of free advise to you, YB:

    The way to prove opposition are not as good as BN is to behave maturely and not getting emotional and rant away like a little boy. That makes you as bad or worst than them. You are telling Pua "your area not safe mine is", what childishness, what utterly senseless argument devoid of anything for the citizens!

    Food for thought.

    You will not publish this, I know. NONE of you BN fellows ever publish remarks that don't polish your ass. At least the oppositions allow dissenting views on their blogs, you already lost there. Again.

  2. Thank you YB for your explanation.

    Regards, Hannah Yeoh

  3. Tanpa nama @ 9:38pm,

    Thank you for your reply. I am sorry to hear what you have gone thru in Kota Kemuning. I hope there will be solution to the problem soon.

    Anyway, I think you have not read my posting subjectively. I DID NOT deny crime is on the rise. I DID NOT deny that certain neighbourhoods set up gated community in response to crime incidences in their area and to police ineffectiveness. All I am saying is that is not the only reason people want to have gated community.

    I appreciate what you and your fellow urbanites are feeling. But we must insist opposition MPs to leave rhetorics, generalization and grand standing aside. Otherwise, they are not helping your cause at all. In fact, I sometimes wonder whether they are more interested in the "political dividends" than solving the problem.

    In the debate, the minister in his reply was trying hard to explain what the government was doing and yet this was ridiculed by the opposition.

    If the police gets brickbats each and everytime the opposition MPs open their mouth to debate in parliament, they will be demoralized. And demoralized people are not that productive. That's human nature!

    Oh ya another thing.... I proved you wrong. I published your comment.


  4. Oh ya another thing.... I proved you wrong. I published your comment.

    Your response to anom seems more measured than yr response to YB Tony Pua, congratulations, cooler heads can think better.

    Having said that, anom is right about BN Rep's blogs avoiding negative comments, you should know that since you are in a position to interact with them... perhaps you can persuade them to open up a bit :-)

    But your last statement above seems like you just want to have the 'last say' and prove others wrong... and perhaps in the process prove the anom right instead :-)

    Just my 2 cents, YB, I expect my MPs to be articulate and mature, no matter which side of the fence.

  5. i posted this earlier on tony pua's blog. i shld've posted it here first. here goes...

    have seen kota belud's "response". here's my take on this:-

    1) he said kota belud not undersiege. he admitted/agreed that pj utara is. therefore, he reasoned that "to say Malaysians are living in constant fear as if the criminals were running the country is unacceptable". he has to see the WHOLE OF MALAYSIA in turmoil before he agrees to the reality/graveness of the situation.

    2) kota belud also offers "Is it getting out of hand and is Malaysia utterly unsafe? Of course not.". again, refer to (1) above. kota belud agrees to only this much - "Malaysia as a whole is not crime-infested, PJ Utara is!!"
    he is emphasising that urban and major towns/cities are the only ones with trouble and that his kota belud is a safe place, as it were, to live in. therefore, whatever LKS ot TNC ot TP say is not true. or not entirely true. the situation is not as bad as we thought it is, he claims.

    3) kota belud also thinks along the way of development in provisions and infrastructures (e.g. more cctv, more money, more manpower etc for the police force) but he stops real far from saying that the most important "development" in the police is THEIR F-KING ATTITUDE towards their duty. whatever happened to the IPCMC? bring that back and you have, through a painful but necessary evolution, a sterling police force. now with the correct-correct-correct judiciary, anything goes. i heard rm100,000 is all it takes to amend a section39b charge to a more friendly 39a. for those of u who do not know what are 39a and 39b, go look it up. it makes a whole world of difference.

    4)kota belud also suggests that vehicle theft (which according to him makes up 50% of the crime index) is NOT a crime that should worry us all; and so therefore, according to kota belud, LKS or TNC or TP or all opposition politicians (he did not mention us normal malaysian citizens) are blowing things out of proportion - all this just to discredit the govt. yes, we, ordinary malaysians, are lamenting that we do not feel safe; that we, ordinary malaysians, do not trust the police that much really; we are actually doing all these just to discredit the government. kota belud is government. the rest of us are not. so, we better shut the F up. in a way, if we do not have anyting nice to say about the government, or any of its agencies, we had better shut up.

    kota belud is taking a cue bush - either u're with us or u're with the enemy. guess who's the enemy?

    5) i'd like to anwer his question in the last para - "So the question is how do we manage it.".

    my simple answer consists only of five simple letters in the alphabet. it's easy, really. to kota belud, repeat after me...


    there u go, boy. it's easy ain't it?

    not the show-piece SCC (it's useless). we're talking about IPCMC. not cctvs alone, not more money/grants/provisions alone. not manpower alone.

    go ask any malaysians (non-umno members). go ask even mca, mic, gerakan - privately (u know they dont dare to rub big-bro-bully-umno the wrong way; not publicly anyway).

    ask ordinary (non-politician) malaysians on the streets.

    then go ask your conscience. forget musang hasan for a while. we know he holds some pretty incriminating evidence re that-late-woman-whom-we-shall-not-name against your boss - that slimeball.

    take off that umno facade/baggage/burden that u r carrying, for a moment. hide in a toilet, have some privacy. then search deep deep into your conscience.

    and ask that question - will IPCMC help the police force? and us malaysians in general?


  6. YB u memang childish lar.

    Publish ONE comment and end with "See, I prove you wrong". As you yourself said, you were writing because 'many' wrote to you.

    Sudah lar! Konon open!


  7. u umno-bn politicians (including hassan ali, i consider him one) always think in terms of "demoralizing".

    anything we feel not correct about the govt, its agencies (re:selcat-selangor episode), we cannot voice it out. or must be thru "proper channel", that slimeball hasan ali said.

    what is more demoralising? selangor civil servants working in cahoots with selangor umno to rip off the rakyat's hard earned money; or to grill them in public via selcat?

    did they not see it coming?

    u might as well said to jail rapists and robbers are demoralising to them too.

    or...wait...has this anything to do with your ketuanan melayu tendencies?

    what?? u're afraid the police force will stage its own revolution against the people like how it threatened to "biar jenayah berleluasa, kami takkan buat apa -- kalau kerajaan laksanakan ipcmc...". is that what u r talking about??

    well i say, screw those who even think of doing that. this is treason. they are polis diRAJA malaysia. they answer to the agong. going against the agong is an act of treason - punishable by death.

    those useless policemen who threatened the state should be dealt with severely.

    oh...but then again..they are umno cannot do it. right? they are your secured "fixed deposit voters", is it?

    i see.


  8. tanpa nama @ 5:02pm,

    I just want to prove to him that he doesnt have to be my "ass-polisher" (his words not mine) to be heard in my blog...

    He insinuated that I would not tolerate views which are not compatible with mine. Just so you know, I have debated with Anwar, Lim Kit Siang and Karpal in Parliamentary debates. I have appeared on television talk show programs along side several opposition MPs (out spoken Balik Pulau and Kuala Langat MPs and National Vice Head of PKR Youth - just to name a few). I dont fear dissenting views and in fact welcome them.

    I cant speak on behalf of other politicians but here in my blog, all are welcome.

    P/s: I think you got it wrong when you say that BN bloggers dont publich negative comments. Have you been to YB Khairy Jamaluddin, YB Dato Seri Khir Toyo and Tun Mahathir's blogs. These guys got hammered and pummelled big time, all the time! And they take it in stride!

  9. tanpa nama @ 7:35pm

    4RAKYAT, thanks for your posting. Judging from your comments you are a very angry man/woman indeed..

    I feel you still dont understand what I am trying to convey in my original posting about crime in Malaysia.

    (1) When I say PJU is "crime-infested" and Kota Belud is not, I was trying to make a point. And the point is, Kit Siang and Tony Phua shouldnt generalized. Their statements in parliament and in their nightly "ceramahs" all over the country, are tailored made to give an impression that the country as a whole is in total mayhem. Which you and I know, not true at all!

    It is okay to say PJU is having serious crime problem and I believe most people believe that. Just focus on that and the government would be listening.

    There are serious repercussions by generalizing. First of all, responses will be diluted. Instead of focusing on PJU specifically, the concern parties are looking at the whole country and spread their budgetary resources too thin and thus missing the mark.

    (2) This is another sore point. By saying the whole Malaysia is crime infested, tourists and investors alike might be put off coming here and spend their money elsewhere. This will hurt the economy and the image of the country. In US, you will hear politicians say New York city is having crime problem. They hardly say that about the USA. They understand the dangers of generalization.

    (3) IPCMC is as good as its implementation. With the police force dead against it, I wonder whether the police force will be a sterling police force if the police do not embrace the IPCMC wholly and live by its spirit.
    Worst if they try to frustrate it by sabotaging it at every opportunity they have. These were real possibilities.
    I can hear you saying... then why not just sack those recalcitrants who dont toe the line!. But That would be majority of the police force. Remember, less police personnel mean more crime in PJU!

    As a compromise, the governement came up with another Bill passed in parliament late last year. It is called EAIC or Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission.

  10. Nita,

    Did you read 4RAKYAT's earlier posting? He accused me of not going to publish his posting becuase I would only do so if the writer was my ass-polisher!! That elicited the comment you cited.
    Thank you.

  11. YB,

    It is refreshing to have another BN MP attempting a conversation with other politicians and rakyat of same/other affiliation.

    Will highlight your article in our website

    Please continue the conversation with all Malaysians.

    All the best!

  12. Err YB...

    1. Isn't "Opposition's generalization" also a sweeping generalization of the opposition?

    2. Tun Mahathir is not a BN MP lar.

    3. Khir Toyo's blog was crashed on the first day itself due to overwhelming negative comments, he then disable comments and made some wild technical claims about his service provider to justify it. I've been following politician's blogs for a long time. To be fair, opposition MP Wee Choo Keong equally filter anything not to his liking, so it is not only BN MPs.. so previous poster shouldn't have 'generalize' about BN :-)

    4. You seem to have the same opinion as the Home Minister about police demoralized due to the negative impression the public have of them. Get on the ground in disguise and ask any person on the street lar:

    4i. Have they ever been stopped by traffic cop who subsequently ask for a bribe?

    4ii. Have they ever tried to make a police report only to have the officers trying their best to persuade you not to lodge a report?

    4iii. While you're at it, ask them about JPJ and driving licenses. When they register at their driving school, did they get offers of 'sure pass' packages?

    4iv. Ask anyone who deal with Smidec on any of their training/education schemes... standard practise 1/3 of fees of each approved student go back to Smidec as 'processing fee'.

    How is an honest person on the street regardless of race/religion to earn an honest living?

  13. I agree with Tanpa Nama 6:25 PM 110%!

    I've faced all 3 situations he described. And the forth one, my friends in the training industry confirmed it to be the case - every Smidec approval of training application comes with the 33% "processing fee" for someone in Smidec. YB, why don't you bring it up? Why don't MACC investigate?

    As for the driving license case, I rejected the sure pass package and was told I failed the test the moment I stepped into the car.

    And please.... do not bother to ask anyone of us to provide 'details' for investigation, it will just be for show and to hang a few scapegoat for show.

    These stuff, like nasi lemak and roti canai, is a 'Malaysian' way of life and 'doing things' that no one even bother to report it anymore but everyone know about it.

    Am I generalizing? Maybe. But let me add, this continues to happen in both BN & PR controlled states.

  14. Just an addition. There r now developers who advertise their gated projects as a plus point and they specifically mention that the residents will feel safe there. Isn't this a point to worry.

    In a gated community, the residents have to pay monthly fees for the service of the guards which should not be the case, if the crime rate were under control.

    Lastly, your point on the crime statistic may be half right. Maybe, the non violent crimes such as vehicle theft may not concern the safety wellbeing of the rakyat, however, what concerns us is the statistic of violent crime per capita. It is off the chart and higher than most of the other countries in the region!

  15. I have to give it to you, you certainly are good in articulating your views as well as 'twisting'(for lack of a better word) what you say to make this issue not as urgent as it is.

    Let me put to you what I feel and know about the issue.

    Firstly, you acknowledge that crime is on the rise and is an issue in Malaysia, while at the same time, you say that it is not an issue (when it benefits your points). Is crime an issue or not? Make up your mind.

    Secondly, you are comparing crimes rates/perception or crime in highly urbanized towns/cities (with huge populations and/or population desities) to crime rates/perception crime in rural/suburban towns/vilages (with lower populations/population density). It has long been established that crime rates are lower in rural areas as compared to Urban areas. Do your research on that. Your childish taunt to YB Pua that your contituency is safer is probably true, but that doesn't change the fact that crime is high populations centres. The fact you are comparing Kota Belud with Petaling Jaya shows that you are either not fully utilizing your mental faculties OR that you are trying to twist/hide facts.

    You stated that some gated communities are there for exclusivity and NOT so much for crime prevention, where are you facts in that? While it is agreeable that some gated communities are for exclusivity, can you really come up with fact, figures and surveys to prove that? Is that not, in fact, only your view and not a fact? And if your view is formed from comparing Kota Belud to Petaling Jaya, then I put it to you that your view is fatally flawed.

    In past, gated communities might be for exclusivity but the mushrooming of gated communities cannot be solely because of the need for exclusivity. If it is, then places like Bukit Antarabangsa and Bukit Tunku would be fenced up and gated.

    I challenge you to sponsor a non-partisan survey on gated community dwellers on why they choose to live in a gated community. Is it first and foremost for exclusivity? Or is it for security? Are gated communities being built to satisfy exclusivity or to prevent crime? Or maybe you should just ask the police that?

    I am certain that most will say that exclusivity is a by-product of a 'safer' and crime-free community. Rather than lower crimes being a by-product of exclusivity.


  16. Tuan...

    di KB kalau karabau atau lembu tida kana kasi kurung masuk kandang tiap2 hari...gerenti kana tapau masuk pick-up. INI KAU BILANG KB SELAMAT.

    -Jomo KB.


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