He said, ""The burglary is a reminder to all of us that crime is a serious problem in Malaysia and I hope that everyone, including victims, remain steadfast."
In a quick response, his fellow MP on the Opposition bench was quick to send his sympathy. Tony Pua took the opportunity to call on the police and government to face up to the reality of severe crime in Malaysia and start reforms. The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said: "Only and unless the Government and the police are willing to accept that fact, there will be no sense of urgency among the authorities to make things better."
However, Pua should offer more than just his sympathy and criticism of the Federal government and the police force. Yes, it would have been easier if the Federal government accepts the crime indexes and the growing fear and anxiety among urbanites of falling victims to crime. What we need is a bipartisan cooperation to combat crime.
State governments (including those being run by PR) and the Federal government must work hand-in-hand with the police force to fight criminals. There are more to be done by all parties to help keep the streets, residential estates, towns, car parks, schools, public areas and malls for all.
Hence, all parties should stop the blame game and form a joint committee at both the national and state level to address at the problem. What can be done? There are several steps:
- The stakeholders should work closely with the public and victims to map out a crime matrix to identify highly prone and high risk areas.
- The state government, via the local councils, should identify if anything can be done to improve infrastructure at the identified areas e.g. clearing of bushes, install more street lights/lamps, install CCTV cameras, send out local authority officers to make regular visits to the areas, identify any illegal activities and identify high risk individuals or groups in the areas.
- Police should work hand-in-hand with the local councils and state governments to provide training to local/residential security guards and volunteers on methods to combat crime. Police should plan out their resources to focus on public safety, surveillance, prevention and investigation.
- Federal government should make special allocations available to state governments and the police force for the purpose of fighting crime. Allocations should be given to voluntary corps and community security forces to help strengthen their ability to fight crime.
- The police force should not get involved in any politically motivated operations and to reserve their resources for crime fighting purposes only.
- A comprehensive study should be conducted to understand the nature of crime and what can be done to address them. The solutions needed might not just be more policing but they can also come from the socio-economic and education angles. It is pertinent to address the root cause of crime.
These steps are preliminary but I am sure the parties involved can work out more areas to work on if they are serious about fight crime and protecting the property and safety of common people. A life lost to crime is far too many.
It is time for politicians, from both coalitions, to start walk the talk on crime prevention by making this initiative a bipartisan one.