Statement by DAP Advisor Lim Kit Siang
I am very disappointed by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar's response to complaints by Taiwanese investors about the serious crime situation in the country which affects investment confidence.
In fact, this is not just the concern of Taiwanese investors but all foreign and local investors as well as ordinary Malaysians and visitors, as crime in Malaysia has become one of the biggest problems in Malaysia – with the exception of the Home Minister.
In fact, the problem of rising crime index has been a staple subject of DAP MPs in Parliament in the last two Parliaments.I just cannot imagine how Hamid could be so unresponsive and irresponsible as to dismiss the Taiwanese investors' complaints about the crime situation in Malaysia, claiming that the law-and-order situation in Malaysia has not reached a "red danger alert".
Let me advise Hamid to do his homework by first reading and digesting the 2005 Royal Police Commission Report, or he would not have committed another faux pax like his earlier ridiculous statement that the Sin Chew senior reporter Tan Hoon Ching was arrested under the Internal Security Act for her own protection and safety!
When Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister in October 2003, the crime situation was already out of control which was why one of his first reform promises and measures which won him all-round plaudits and support among Malaysians was the establishment of the Royal Police Commission to reduce crime to restore to Malaysians their twin fundamental rights to be free from crime and the fear of crime, whether in the streets, public places or the privacy of their homes.
The Royal Police Commission in its May 2005 Report had referred to the "alarming" and "dramatic increase" in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, an increase of 29 per cent in eight years, and recommended a reduction by 20% in the crime index in the first 12 months.
In actual fact, the reverse took place. In the past four years, the crime index had worsened from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 224,298 cases in 2007 – a sharp rise of some 45% when it should have gone down as recommended by the Royal Police Commission which proposed a 20% drop in the crime index in the first 12 months of its report.For the first time in the nation's 50-year history, the crime index last year crashed through the 200,000 psychological barrier.
Women in Malaysia are now more unsafe today than four years ago – as the incidence of rape had more than doubled from a daily average of four women in 2003 to 8.5 women last year!Has Hamid forgotten the Barisan Nasional's 2008 general election manifesto where it promised: "Bring down the country's crime index".What has Hamid as Home Minister done in the past seven months to fulfil the BN 2008 manifesto to "Improve the level of personal safety for every individual"?
Hamid has nothing to show as Malaysia today is even more unsafe to its citizens, visitors, tourists and investors because of endemic crime as compared to the start of the Abdullah premiership in 2003 or even just March this year.Has Hamid forgotten the spate of crime in the country like the robbery-cum-murder of Thor Joo Lee, wife of former Penang State Assemblyman for Bukit Tambun, Lai Chew Hock at her Tambun Indah house in Penang and the robbery of Datin Chang Lee Lee, wife of former Penang Exco and Pulau Tikus Assemblyman Datuk Dr. Teng Hock Nan in her Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman house in Penang among other outrages?
Malaysians are paying a terrible cost in terms of the personal safety of its citizens, tourists and investors and the nation's investment climate because of the unchecked rising crime index and lack of leadership and commitment to declare an all-out-war against crime whether by the Home Minister or the Inspector-General of Police.
In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that crime in Malaysia has become so endemic as to scare away tourists and investors precisely because the most important recommendation of the Police Royal Commission to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to create an efficient, professional and world-class police service to keep crime low in the country had not been implemented or heeded.
Is Hamid prepared to support the establishment of a full-fledged IPCMC and not a tooth-less and clawless Special Complaints Commission (SCC) which is a mockery of the Royal Police Commission's IPCMC proposal, as there will be police representatives on the SCC!