Friday, August 11, 2006

Its no longer safe.....

Have been under the weather the last week, which brought me to a trip to my village chemist (pharmacy). I was told by uncle that they were robbed last Thursday. His daughter, the pharmacist had gone to the police station to report that their A/C compressor had been stolen. While she was away, 2 men armed with a long knife entered the shop and walked uncle to the back where he was robbed of his wallet and mobile phone. This happened at 11.30AM. Upon returning, she had to go back again to the police station to report yet another incident. The local bakery has been robbed, the mobile phone shop on that same street was robbed of RM8,000 last week.

Its no longer safe. Last week as I crossed Jalan Raja Chulan, I eaves dropped in a casual conversation between 3 colleagues. (two men and a lady) The lady said to her colleague, “you still cycle? Its not safe. Get a exercise bike in the house.” There is something very wrong when we cannot even take our bicycles out for a ride around the neighbourhood anymore? It may be an over exaggeration by a fearful young lady, but the chances of being mugged, murdered or mutilated is higher than it was 10 years ago.

I am sure this decline is in tandem to world crime rates as many countires become more urbanized. However, I believe we could do a lot more and lack the resolve to do so. The Police for example do not have the latest in modern equipments to solve crime. We have regressed in this aspect. A simple example is the communication system. 20 years ago, I recall that wherever you are in Malaysia the number for an emergency was “999”. Today, if I was in USJ reporting a crime at the Subang police station, they say, “sorry not my jurisdiction, call USJ beat base. I am not even sure which numbers I am suppose to call.

Many police officers do not have the attitude of providing quality service and respect to each member of the public. Back to the story, of uncle at the Pharmacy who told me that they had a hidden video and was ready to surrender it to the local police station. Uncle however was told to go and process the DVD, take still shots and enlarge it for them. An angry uncle told me, “I must as well catch the bloody robber and hand him in to you.” I wonder if that was the same reply if a Dato got robbed. It’s a horrible thing to say, but unfortunately its true of our Malaysian culture. We do not respect the individual for who he is but for what title he carries.

The Rakyat cannot be accused of not doing their part as Neighbourhood Watch Groups spring up all over the Klang Valley. Security services are hired by households everywhere for fear of getting robbed. I must say that it is infuriating to hear billions of Ringgit wasted because of a shelved project or millions spent on a sports complex in another country when we are in dire need to give the police force better salaries, better equipment and facilities to protect its citizenry.

Keep safe everybody!!!

14 comments:

CHEAH WENG SUN said...

I was listening to Holy Holy Holy by Chris Tomlin when reading this post. Truly sad world it is huh !

A bigger than ben hur mentality change has to start somewhere. Let's hope it's not to be watered down by the inactions of most citizens.

PabloPabla said...

Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi.

Meng said...

Weng Sun; How is crime rate in Sydney? Is it a ww phenomena?
"listening to Holy, holy, holy..." you are a Christian?

You are right, I think its important that if all we do is "make noise" albeit a little murmur. Much mumur makes a lot of noise....

HM said...

It is certainly oibvious to me that personal security risks in KL are rising dramatically over the last 10-15 years even though I haven't been living there. In my immediate circle of friends and relatives alone, there have been at least a half dozen robberies and snatch thefts (and my social circles are very small!). That is as opposed to hearsay that my friend's friend got robbed.

It is a critical issue for the authorities to urgently address as it goes to heart of the the ability of citizens and residents to feel (and be) safe as well as our ability to attract tourists and foreign investment.

It is instructive to speculate why the situation has deteriorated so dramatically. Stock and standard answers have been the proliferation of low-end foreign workers, the financial crisis and so forth. But is it really so ? What are the statistics that crimes are actually by the foreign workers ? I haven't seen any stats. It is sad that citizens feel so unsafe that they resort to private security firms (which by the way are wholly ineffective) for entire estates. A case in point is my parents home in Pantai Hills which is by no means a mass market residential enclave. Why is the police force so ineffective ? It seems they are not even a deterrent !

CHEAH WENG SUN said...

Crimes in Sydney are of a different nature in some parts. Don't know how to equate but I would say in Australian terms probably the worst compared to the other states. That's the price Sydney has to pay for its progress.

I'm sure in Sydney we do have the same problems about riding bikes in some neighbourhood. With the pharmacist kind of story, we do have broad daylight robberies as well. So, can't really say its unique to KL.

As for the police force, there probably is some difference in terms of attitude but I would not squarely aim it at the force for not doing its job. The police force anywhere in the world can only be shaped by the sheer attitude of the people and population at large. In a progressive society, police force is seen to be more fair because the other impediments such as social structure has been moderated with progress. The people form the social structures. Police force is there to assist and uphold the rights of the respective individual.

Too hard Leslie to nail the issues down. Chong Yin once said that Malaysia is reaching its 50th year but some countries like Australia is 100 years old. Or others like England is much older. I think there is some truth in this. Unfortunately, we are not at the end of the century old mark. Things like this do take time. It may be after our time that there will be change. In the meantime, the generic attitude is 'if you like to live in conditions like this, try to accept what you can and change some where possible, if you don't like these conditions, time to think about a shift'.

Which is why I said truly sad world.

As for the faith, I'm on and off. I don't see myself as one yet but my wife say I am. I'll let God decide my course.

CHEAH WENG SUN said...

Les,

So apt. This topic is currently being talked about in Lasoba. This is Jolo's comments on emergency lines :

The ones for Bukit Aman are emergency numbers for crime – e.g. if you spotted something about to occur and want to alert the police, you can call the number without having to find out which particular station to call. Have you ever experienced lodging a police report? Often they give you the runaround because if the event is in a jurisdiction that the particular station is not responsible for, it will not accept any report. A bit like a waiter telling you he does not serve your table. Hence, the emergency call centre number.



The standard emergency call number of 911 caters for fire, ambulance etc. and the calls there get relayed so if you know the numbers that go direct say to a fire station you need not call the emergency number.



Once I tried 911. There was a large python which had believe it or not slithered out of the bonnet of a car visiting my neighbour and had decided that my house compound was a nice place to rest. There was no answer from 911 until after the third try. Then they told me to call the wildlife department and couldn’t even give me the number. So I had to call 103 to find out the number. That number did not answer until the second attempt and guess what, they asked me to call the nearest fire brigade. So I called the fire brigade and they said they don’t handle snakes but I should call the zoo.



By which time, I was thoroughly fed up, gingerly stepped into the garden to look for the snake and saw it sliding along a drain down the street so I left it as that. If I called the zoo, they might have asked me to call 911. KKK. True story no bullshit.

CHEAH WENG SUN said...

In my earlier post, apologies for not mentioning the so called numbers for Bukit Aman. Jolo has seeked verification and they are genuine.

Key in these hotline numbers (03-22627555/03-22626555) into your
mobile phone. They may save your life.

IMMomsDaughter said...

Aye aye, the authorities are no help especially when you want to make a report. They give you the run around until you get too fed up to report. They make you feel like we are burdening them with work too. I can bla non stop on this but pai seh, my first time here.

Meng said...

thanks immomsdaughter for visiting. Please speak your mind.
Its this lack of service attitude that makes the police force so unapproachable. Its like the last resort....

On the other hand I think some training, more dosh and discipline would change things.

CHEAH WENG SUN said...

Les, out of curiousity, my mom told me a story about the happenings in USJ of late. Apparently, there is a syndicate which preys on homes that are unlocked. These groups of people will drive into those area, go and check if the front gate can be accessed, unlock the car door using their master keys and drive off. Apparently, they can sweep up to about 4 or 5 cars in one road. Have you heard of this ?

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