Source : Malaysianmirror

Friday, 13 November 2009 13:12

KLANG – Like the soaring crime rate in Malaysia, public anger against the police is also on the rise, said Klang MP Charles Santiago.

He suggested that the government resolves crime from a development perspective rather than the – tried and failed – law and security approach.

This, he added, would involve creating jobs, offering skills training and providing loans and small contracts to vulnerable youths, especially the Indian youths.

Santiago said essentially, the government at the Federal, state and local levels have to create an enabling environment with a view of creating opportunities for the poor and lower middle classes to be socially and economically mobile.

“The present ‘trigger- happy’ approach is not going to solve the crime problem that confronts us,” he said in a statement here Friday.

‘Random shooting is a fact’

He cited the incident in Taman Klang Utama, where police shot dead five suspected robbers in a shootout after a high speed car chase at 12.30am on Sunday.

Overcome by grief over the death of her brother, who was one of those shot and killed in the incident, a 31-year-old housewife and two of her children are now fighting for their lives after consuming paraquat, a weed killer.

Santiago said besides the woman’s 24-yeaer-old brother, a 17-year-old boy was also killed.

He said while those shot were robbery suspects, the action of the police had amounted to being ‘trigger-happy.’

He said Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein might not agree with accusations that the police have been indulging in random shooting “but this is a fact.”

“The police force has come under fire one too many times for abusing its power.

39 killed in shootouts last year

“Media reports state that at least 39 people were killed by police in shootouts for the whole of last year.”

Santiago refuted recent remarks by Hishammuddin in Parliament that put the blame for the country’s high crime rate on the ‘bad-mouthing and demonisation’ of the police force.

The minister also said that institutions like the police force are made to be seen as ‘irresponsible and bad’ while they were only trying to do their jobs.

Santiago said: “The Home Minister never fails to puzzle us through his statements.

“Hishammuddin leaves us wondering if he is duty-bound to protect the image of the police force.

Tilted towards rampant abuse

“Or, is the man, touted as a future Prime Minister, only capable of non-ideological analysis?” Santiago asked, adding that  Malaysia does not have the luxury of time to indulge in such “musings” as the country’s balance is tilted towards rampant abuse of police powers and a growing sense of insecurity among the public.

The Klang MP, on the other hand, put the blame for the high crime rate squarely on the police.

He added that the delays in the various trials and judging process were also factors for the escalation.

He said the police must work independently and efficiently to cut down the crime rate, adding that as an infant step, it should first focus its efforts on wiping out graft.

“Wearing badges which scream an end to corruption would not work without instilling discipline among its members,” said Santiago. – Malaysian Mirror

Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2009 17:23