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.
“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.
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?