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Rising crime was bad, now it's worse

Exactly a year ago I wrote to Malaysiakini about the high crime rate that we are facing in our country (High crime rate is real, not a perception) in response to our then-home minister Hishammuddin Hussein's claim that high crime rate is only a perception problem.

Subsequently, Malaysiakini also did a three-part report on crime problems in this country.

So one year has passed now. What has changed?

Well, BN has won another election. We have a new home minister in Zahid Hamidi, and a new IGP, Khalid Abu Bakar.

BN has promised transformation, asking the rakyat to give them one more term. Now that they have got that, what has been transformed?

If anything things did change - but for the worse.

It's no longer petty crimes but daylight robberies.

Thieves have turned into machete-wielding thugs, robbing houses, restaurants, grocery stores and even clinics in broad daylight.

Where they used to break into houses when no one was around, now they come when there are people in.

I guess it is easier that way, just ask people to give them the money instead of searching the house themselves.

Our own homes, restaurants, parks, clinics, supermarkets, grocery stores, car parks, banks, highways, traffic lights, and just about any place we can think of, is not safe.

Just read the newspapers. There are horror stories every day.

Irene Ong was killed by snatch thief near the popular hiking trails at Bukit Gasing.

The home of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was broken into during the day. Luckily no one was hurt.

The so called ‘Oxy' gang has been terrorising supermarkets and banks taking many ATMs with them.

Even tourists are not spared. There were many reported snatch thief incidents involving injuries.

Closer to home, my own housing estate faced three robberies within one week in March this year.

In one case, a resident fought with an intruder and was struck with a machete on the forehead, and needed a few stitches.

In another, a teenage boy had to climb out of his window from the first floor, jump out and seek­ help when he heard intruders breaking into the house.

That same night a few intruders tried to pry open a grille of a house.

The owner woke up, shouted at them but the intruders just kept doing their "job" and refused to go away.

Now that everyone in our housing estate is living in fear, what can we do?

Just like every other housing estate in the Klang Valley, we have no choice but to hire security guards, fence up our area and pray for the best.

Although now we feel safer, the extra money the households have to come up with is putting a toll on family finances. To some it is really a big burden.

I guess when your own government can't protect you, you have to take things into your own hands.

It is sad that our government and police department are more interested in figures rather than actually fighting crime.

The only way to fight crime is to increase the number of policemen and have harsher punishment for the criminals.

Unfortunately none of this is happening right now. So one year on, the same story continues.