When crime strikes close to home


Crime statistics may seem abstract but when it affects people you know, then it becomes more real. Over the last few weeks, I have come across the following incidents affecting relatives, friends and people I know.

Case no. 1: A senior citizen relative of mine has become a snatch theft victim – for the second time in recent years – this time when she was at home. A stranger walked into the premises of her home and came up to her front door which had a secure grille across the entrance. As she walked to the  door to see what it was about, the visitor in a flash, snatched her chain through the gaps in the metal grille.

Case no. 2: A friend of mine was set upon by a group of people and beaten up rather badly.

Case no. 3:  Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin had his Honda CRV car stolen.

Sim’s car was stolen from this parking lot.

“My car was stolen from this parking lot at broad day light. A police station was just 20 metres away. Crime is serious and all Msians are affected. It is not the safest country as minister claimed. I am very unhappy now, but pls dont ask me to migrate, ok?” he wrote on Facebook.

Case no. 4: A cousin of mine reported that a gang of men entered into the house of one of their neighbours at night and thrashed his expensive car. Maybe it was some grudge, who knows.

Case no. 5: I was thrilled to bump into an old Standard Three classmate on mainland Penang after so long. But after a couple of minutes of catching up, he told me his car, also a Honda I think, had been stolen a couple of days earlier.

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All this in less than a month.

Why is this happening?

Lack of opportunities for jobs that pay a decent living wage?

A lack of moral leadership in the country somehow filtering down across the country? If politicians steal and plunder from public coffers and give their cronies sweet-heart deals and rarely get punished, what sort of message does it send to the rest of the population.

Or is it the wide income inequality in the country? Researchers have shown that as income inequality widens, social ills tend to multiply.

The long-term solution is not to fix more cctv cameras or surveillance systems, etc. Those are band-aid remedies, which may not be that effective. We need to get to the root of the problem of what contributes to nudging a person into crime.

I don’t think crime was so prevalent in the early days. Back in the 1970s or 1980s, if a neighbour’s house was burgled, it was the talk of the neighbourhood. Today, no one would bat an eyelid. Back then, Malaysia was regarded as a safer place compared to places like the UK. Today, I doubt if that is still the case.

What do you think?

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  1. A 100-strong crowd who attended the forum, “Time to Reform the Police Force”, held at the Selangor-Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur, agreed that the majority of Malaysians no longer felt safe, whether they lived in urban or rural areas.

    Crime watchdog MyWatch chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan told the forum that 67 murders were reported in the first two months of the year while more than 6,000 motorcycle thefts and over 900 cases of criminal intimidation were also reported in the same period.


    • Yes, and what about all those cases that go unreported because some people feel it is pointless to report.

  2. Well said. The crux is inequality. Despite the nonstop, feel-good propaganda that the West bombards us with, inequality has wrecked USA and southern Europe. Many people there – 20-40% – are either jobless, homeless, or starving.

    In a recent Star article, lawyer and lecturer Rafia Zakaria of Pakistan describes the super-rich of that country. Though it has the highest number of terrorist attacks of late, they find it fashionable to show off their wealth. They cocooning themselves, and continue with lavish celebrations including “culture.” So the elite have no urgency to address the real factors behind the “religious” violence. For ordinary people, the goverment is largely dysfunctional.

  3. Sigh sigh sigh !!! One thing for sure is, i have become a paranoid. I dont go out at night anymore.

    Malaysia, this 1derful country semakin hari semakin teruk. Why? This is like what people say, bagaimana bapa begitu la anaknya, same goes with, bagaimana kerajaan, begitu la rakyatnya !!!

    What do we expect when the country’s leadership encourages its people to slap one another and says it is no crime ??? Wrong messages have been sending out to the rakyat by the BN’s leadership ! Also, our courts are topsy turvy !!! …

    1wonderful Malaysia !!! Kunjungi la beramai ramai, Malaysia, truly Asia !!!

    Ps Anil, you and your friend can still recognise each other that is fantastic that means both of you still remain the same as young as standard 3, how i envy !!!

    • Hi Kee, I almost didn’t recognise him tho, but then as he continued talking, his name suddenly flashed in my mind.

  4. ” Back then “, racism, rent seeking and plain looting of the national coffers were not as blatant as they are now.

  5. Yearning for the 60s, 70s & early 80s.

    Back then, cycling a racer Raleigh Carlton was not a worry about theft in the school cycle park.
    My Madras Lane home was an open door in the morning for Hokkien Mee Tham Chiah Kuis.
    Sleeping under an opened sliding roof in the ‘chim che’ (air well) section of prewar house.
    Walking in the night streets, the only concerns were stray dogs or wandering ghosts. Not snatch thief.
    The only ‘shed blood’ live acts were confined to occasional medicine men’s side street magic shows.
    The richie of society were not envied but accepted as ‘fated’ by the less well endowed. So crimes against the riche were as rare as blue moon.
    The only recalled street violences were those in the 513 race riots. The sight of Ang Thau Peng (red helmeted polis) would sent any hard core gangster to flight.
    Crimes with polis records were negative social stigmas for life.
    Wife beatings were rarely heard of as taboos of family shame.
    One didn’t need a car alarm & sensors if parking a brand new Volkswagen in the street.

    And Botak Chin gang was notorious & feared. Unlike today’s Botak-ed Hills which are acceptable & encouraged by some of greed mentality.

    We are supposed to live in a cosmopolitan society with ‘high-end’ social ethics, status of civilised mankind & ‘slippery-clean this & that (street food is stigmatised by someone as unhealthy during this heat stroke weather).
    But are we living in a truly safe & ‘clean’ place?


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