Vigilantism: Mixed reaction from netizens

Vigilantism: Mixed reaction from netizens
A screenshot taken from the Malaysian Crime Awareness Campaign Facebook page.

PETALING JAYA - Gone are the days where people beating up criminals were only seen in movies. Nowadays such incidents happen everywhere and netizens have mixed reactions to the issue.

The Star Online took a stroll around the supposedly most notorious area which houses the snatch thieves and pickpockets of KL - Puduraya, to hear what the public around the area have to say about it.

"They deserve everything they get!" said Shamsul Samad Irbin, 57, who works as a parking attendant in the area.

"What they do is not right, and over the last ten years of doing odd jobs around the area, I have seen these imbeciles hurt so many members of the public."

"If they are able bodied enough to run and snatch, or get onto a bike to rob somenone, they can always find a job, or even beg, as that is better than forcefully taking money from people," he said adding that their actions has cost many innocent lives.

Shamsul added that people are angry, and though they might not be directly involved in the particular incident, someone in their family or friends may have been hurt in the past because of such people and therefore they take this as an opportunity to vent it out.

A food vendor, Meng Lee Fern, 63 said she would beat the life out of the perpetrators if she could.

"Almost 20 years ago, I had my bag snatched down this same road, and when I called back at the guy, he pointed a knife at me, shutting me up, and then took off.

"Back then no one came to my aid, despite me crying in the middle of the road, maybe because they were afraid or they depended on the authorities to do something, but now, people are courageous and their trust in the authorities has gone."

Meng added that authorities who take action against those who beat up criminals, are basically shooting themselves in the foot as the public are merely helping them out.

Kedahan Nurul Afiqah Rashid, 25 however said that the people should restrict themselves to holding down the criminal.

"No one has the right to hurt anyone, therefore, despite the circumstances the public should not beat them up.

"Yes, they deserve punishment, and that is why we have law enforcement officers, courthouses and so on, so it is best for people to let them do the work instead of putting themselves in danger to beat up a criminal," she said.

Multimedia student John Chog Lee, 27, said people who steal aren't always bad.

"Sometimes they are poverty stricken and do it out of extreme desperation, so beating them up really is not a very humane thing to do. I am not saying that they should be let go, or that their actions are justified, but it is best to let the authorities to decide the best course of action," he said.

John added that people often took advantage of the situation to vent out their anger and that is unethical and inappropriate.

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