My house was broken into once, my mum's house in Johor Baru twice, and my two brother-in-laws' houses in Klang once each, over the last few years.
Two of my nieces and my sister-in-law were also victims of snatch thieves.
On top of that, my neighbour fell and suffered concussion when her purse was snatched in Cheras some time ago. She woke up in the hospital, not remembering what had happened.
A few months later, it was very unfortunate her house was also broken into one morning, while her husband and kids were still sleeping in their rooms.
Burglars also broke into another neighbour's house as recently as one month ago.
These are not numbers made up by the media, but real horrifying cases that involved me and people around me. I can imagine most of us have similar stories to tell.
The experience is traumatising. I know some of my friends who are so afraid now, that they hardly get out of their houses any more especially at night.
I personally would not let my wife drive alone at night to unfamiliar places.
Yet our government keeps telling us the high crime rate is only a perception, blown out of proportion by the media. They show us numbers that crime rate is dropping, which are meaningless to us.
Our police should be doing their job protecting the people, not playing statisticians trying to interpret the numbers.
Moreover, what does a drop of a few percentage points mean in terms of crimes committed?
Are we supposed to be happy that now there are a few less cases of break-ins and snatch thief incidents?
Crimes are still crimes, we still don't feel safe walking down the streets, that's what counts.
If you ask the public, it is in fact getting worse now. I don't know where our government gets their numbers, but in reality it certainly feels otherwise.
For instance, it is not safe in shopping complexes, as reported by papers recently, where most of us go during weekends, even with the presence of security guards.
Morning walks in the park, or trekking your favorite hills can be a dangerous exercise, you just don't know who is lurking at the bushes, ready to harm you.
I don't even feel safe walking a few blocks to my neighbourhood mamak stall for a cup of teh tarik at night. That's how bad it is.
It is sad that our government is in denial mode, even when citizens like us are hurting and in danger. They give us ‘feel good' numbers as if everything is fine, while the country falls into the hands of thugs.
It is also reported by Malaysiakini yesterday that a major portion (up to 71 percent) of the allocated crime-busting budget under the government transformation programme (GTP) was used in "managing perception" rather than fighting the real crime.
I guess they care about their image more than doing the actual crime-fighting work, or looking after the safety of their citizens.
Everywhere we look neighbourhoods are setting up their own security guard posts, fenced-up housing areas, and gates to monitor who gets in and out of their neighbourhood.
Guarded communities are also the preferred properties nowadays. However, to most citizens that are in the middle class or lower, they just can't afford that kind of luxury.
While it is good that the communities are taking matters into their own hands, it also shows lack of confidence in our police in general.
Just yesterday it was reported a girl was killed as a result of a snatch thief incident in Malacca. There was also another fatal incident in Penang reported this morning involving an old woman in Penang after her purse was snatched.
Two days, two deaths due to crime. What more can I say?
These are real stories involving real people. I wonder how many innocent people have to lose their lives in order for our government to wake up and take some action.
I urge the government to seriously look into revamping the police to better protect the citizens.
The current system is obviously failing. It is time to step out of the denial cocoon, shed the feel-good factor and get their hands dirty to do real police work in preventing the crimes.
The victims are real people like you and me. It can happen to anyone, including you and me.
There is no perception problem here, it is all only too real.