Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Malaysia Minister: Address high crime rate in Kuala Lumpur

Jun 14. 2020
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By The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Federal Territories Minister hopes that steps will be taken to address the high crime rate in Kuala Lumpur.

Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pic) said the report on the city having the highest crime rate worried him.

“As the Federal Territories security working committee chairman, I hope to immediately discuss with the Kuala Lumpur police chief, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and others to take steps to ensure that KL is safer, ” he said on his Twitter account yesterday in response to The Star’s exclusive report that KL had the highest index crime per capita than any districts in the country.

Bukit Aman Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department director Comm Datuk Zainal Abidin Kasim said in the report that among the factors which contributed to KL’s crime rate was a crowded population, influx of immigrants, negligence and carelessness, as well as lack of security and crime prevention awareness among residents.

In response, Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye opined that most crimes were committed by Malaysians rather than immigrants, adding that crimes committed by immigrants were only a “very small percentage”.He also agreed that populated areas experienced higher crime rates as there were more potential victims.

He said criminals too were generally more interested in breaking into a house in the middle to upper income neighbourhoods or high income areas, rather than the lower income housing as they know there are more valuables in the houses of the former.

With the lack of security and crime prevention awareness in society, Lee said that for the past 26 years, MCPF had been mapping out strategies for crime prevention and creating awareness among the public not to take safety for granted.

Lee also believed that a rise in unemployment in the country due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to an increase in crime, saying that it was nearly universal that high unemployment rates go hand-in-hand with crime.

“This will certainly be one of the factors that should be considered in the fight against crime as people who are unemployed are fighting for survival.

“They would get involved in criminal activities (when they are unable to feed themselves).

“I think we have to grapple with this problem as we move on (return to normalcy), ” Lee said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy said the high crime rate was not surprising.

He said it was true that population density would result in a higher crime rate per capita, but noted crime rates could not just be taken based on the number of reported cases or crimes that were discovered by the police.

“There is much to be elaborated on why crime rates are higher in places with a high population density. It is also related to economic factors, unemployment rates and drug use problems in the community, ” he said.

Sundramoorthy also pointed out that Malaysians tend to take their personal safety for granted.

“We have an attitude problem here regarding crime prevention, and the community must play a more active role, ” he said.

He noted that Malaysians still get scammed even though crime awareness messages were widely promoted by non-governmental organisations as well as authorities.

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