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Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance to ask for a meeting with Inspector-General of Police for a special action plan to wipe out Johor Baru’s notoriety as the nation’s capital of crime

Media Statement        
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Sunday): I will seek an urgent meeting of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance when Parliament reconvenes tomorrow over the worsening crime, particularly with Johor Baru gaining further notoriety as the capital of crime, depriving Malaysians of their most fundamental liberty of being free from crime and the fear of crime to be assured of  personal safety and security, whether in the streets, public places or the privacy of their homes. 

I will propose that the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance ask for a meeting with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan for a special action plan to wipe out Johor Baru’s notoriety as the nation’s capital of crime. 

It is most regrettable that the Johore Police have blamed the Chinese media for the public outrage over the horrendous crimes in Johor Baru, following three shocking gang rape-cum-abduction/robbery in the last month, viz:

  • Early May -  28 year old pregnant woman  robbed and gang-raped in Plentong in the presence of three-year-old son, after robbers had forced their way and drove off the car at a petrol station near Tampoi where the husband had stopped to answer nature’s call.

  • 5th June  around 10 pm -  A construction contractor and  female companion at a petrol station at Pasir Gudang highway overpowered by three armed robbers who drove off with them as hostages. Both robbed and female victim gang-raped at Kempas area.

  • 11th June, around 10 pm. –  Armed robbery by three men who  ganged-raped  19-year-old girl and her 22-year-old boyfriend could only watch helplessly because he had been slashed twice.

The police representative who turned up late  for the Johore Baru dialogue yesterday held in conjunction with the 100,000-signature campaign to reduce crime and  restore personal safety and property security to Johore Baru blamed the Chinese media for blowing up the crime issue, claiming that there had been a 7.9 per cent decline in incidence of crime in Johor Baru. 

The Johore Police would lose all respect and confidence of the people of Johor Baru if the police authorities maintain the denial syndrome or try to dismiss and trivialize widespread public concerns and outrage over the crime situation in the Johore capital, either blaming the Chinese media or looking for other scapegoats. 

In Parliament last year, I had specifically spoken about the rampant crime and lawlessness in Johor Bahru. 

This is what I said during the parliamentary  debate on the 2006 Supplementary estimates in August last year: 

“Immediate action and the topmost priority must be taken to multiply the police personnel for Johore Baru to wipe out its notoriety as the capital of crime for the country. 

“The police and even Deputy Internal Security Ministers tend to come down hard on the media for their reporting on crime, instead of curbing down on crime, as if the government can ignore rampant unchecked crime so long as it is not reported in the media. 

“Such irresponsible mentality must be condemned.  True, a situation where crime is rife and rampant is not only threat to the safety and security of Malaysian citizens, it would drive away investors, tourists and foreign students.  But it is naïve to address the problem by curbing media reports on crime, for in the era of information communications technology of instant news, there is no way to hide such a breakdown of law and order particularly in the “black areas”  in the country. 

“What is the use of talking about Vision 2020 becoming a fully developed nation when life has become very cheap in Malaysia, with traumatic crimes a common occurrence and the fear of crime and their personal safety and their love ones, whether in the streets, public places or their homes, a haunting and abiding nightmare? 

“How can the government expect to succeed in making Malaysia an investment centre, a tourist haven or  an international hub of academic excellence to attract foreign students when the government is incapable performing its most fundamental duty – to ensure the personal safety and security of its citizens and visitors?”

Here, we must ask how the multi-billion-ringgit Iskandar Development Region project can even take off so long as Johor Baru remains the capital of crime of Malaysia? 

The Johore Police are not demonstrating their understanding of the public outrage and concern about the rampant crime and lawlessness in Johor Bahru by talking  about a 7.9% decline in crime index, as such improvement is meaningless to the people in the streets and on the ground. 

I am reminded of a quick poll which I conducted among the over 200 people who attended a public forum to fight crime in Ipoh last year, where over 70 per cent had been a victim of crime or had a member of the family who had been a victim of crime, more than 50 per cent did not lodge police report regarding as waste of time while almost 100% of the people are worried about crime in their neighbourhood. 

I am sure if such a poll is conducted in Johor Baru, the results will be even more alarming and definitely more revealing and accurate than the claim that there is a 7.9% decline of crime index in Johor Baru. 

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is the joint chairman of the Iskandar Development Region Authority (IDRA). What is he going to do to wipe out Johor Baru’s notoriety as capital of crime of the nation as the first step to ensure the success of IDR?


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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