PKR today said the government should focus on fighting crime instead of managing how the public views crime.
PKR also disputed the figures given by PEMANDU, after the government’s efficiency unit had yesterday said that it spent only 0.75 per cent of its Government Transformation Programme (GTP) allocation for public relations exercises on crime.
“The rakyat demands action on crime and not perception management,” said PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail (picture).
She accused PEMANDU of distracting the public from the bigger picture that the government’s “overwhelming objective… is to spend on reducing fear of crime”, insisting that 71 per cent or close to RM170 million of the nation’s 2012 budget was used for this purpose.
Putrajaya should seriously consider roping in an impartial third party to present the country’s real crime situation which is now under doubt, an opposition lawmaker said today.
“Tan Sri Musa Hassan has put the Najib administration to great embarrassment by openly accusing the authorities of ‘hiding facts’ from the public over the country’s crime rate,” Gobind Singh Deo (picture)
, the DAP MP for Puchong said in a statement, referring to the former Inspector-General of Police’s remarks to The Malaysian Insider
The retired policeman had urged the federal government not to mask crime figures, pointing out that if crime was not on the rise, top-ranking officials and ministers would not need to hire bodyguards as the home minister, the current IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar and the government’s efficiency unit, PEMANDU, were put on the defensive over a recent spate of high-profile reports of kidnappings, assaults and robberies in public areas and in broad daylight.
Musa had also suggested the government appoint a third party to conduct an independent review of the country’s crime rate and produce its own statistics, saying that he had roped in Universiti Sains Malaysia researchers to prepare crime statistics during his four years in office as IGP. He was succeeded by Ismail on September 13, 2010.
“The credibility of PEMANDU is now seriously in question. The government cannot sit back and remain quiet,” Gobind said.
He pointed out that Musa was not the only establishment figure to have acknowledged a spike in the crime rate, as Selangor Deputy CPO Datuk A. Thaiveegan has also referred to a surge in crime incidents in Malaysia’s most-developed state, which the latter blamed on the government’s decision to repeal the Emergency Ordinance last year.
The archaic security law allowed for detentions without trial of up to two years and was frequently used to rein in gang leaders but had been strongly criticised for its misuse, which had seen minors being remanded and locked up with adult suspects.
Despite the repeated assurances and statistics from the authorities, Malaysians, especially women, appear to be unconvinced and have grown more insecure when out on the streets.
Even the country’s expatriate community has weighed in on the issue and said they were increasingly fearful for their safety here, especially after the kidnapping of 12-year-old Dutch schoolboy Nayati Moodliar, who was snatched while walking to school earlier this year, hit global headlines.
In the latest high-profile crime to be reported today, a 60-year-old widow in Kuantan was found dead by her son, believed strangled by robbers who broke into her home.
Earlier this week, the mother of a Penang federal lawmaker was punched and robbed at knifepoint in a pre-dawn home invasion in George Town.
Other cases which made headlines in recent weeks include thieves hauling off RM1.17 million from several automated teller machines placed at a hypermarket in Wangsa Maju, a densely-populated surburb in the national capital, millions of ringgit worth of high-tech medical equipment being carted off from several hospitals in the Klang Valley, a carjacking and kidnapping of a Singaporean family in Johor and a Malacca clerk who died after she fell off her motorbike after being attacked by two men.
Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan has accused the authorities of hiding facts from the public over the country’s crime rate, claiming that public security has now reached a “worrying stage”.
“The public needs to know the truth, there is no need to hide when it comes to crime. When I was the IGP, I always spoke about rising crime,” he pointed out in the interview yesterday.
Musa, who has served in the Royal Malaysian Police for over four decades, was the country’s IGP for four years from 2006 before he was succeeded by Tan Sri Ismail Omar on September 13, 2010.
Despite the recent spate of assaults, robberies and kidnappings, the police, government efficiency unit Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) and the Home Ministry have held on to statistics showing that the country’s crime rate has dipped considerably since initiatives under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) were put in place two years ago.
PEMANDU’s “Reduce Crime NKRA” unit held a media briefing yesterday to allay public fears on the issue and released fresh statistics showing that the rate dropped again in the first five months of the year by 10.1 per cent.
It had previously released figures to show that index crime had dropped by 11.1 per cent from 2010 to last year while street crime dipped 39.7 per cent in the same period.