'No hike in crime rate'

KUALA LUMPUR - The recent spate of violent crimes targeting women over the past two weeks is not indicative of a rising crime rate in the country, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said the Government was aware of the cases but pointed out that these were not so frequent and did not reflect a state of deteriorating security in Malaysia.

“One or two cases do not affect the crime rate but if the cases are constantly played up, then it will create the perception that the country is not safe,” he told reporters after launching a gathering of his ministry's Youth Squad here yesterday.

Hishammuddin said the Government had promised three years ago to tackle street crime and focused on 50 hotspots across the country, on which they had delivered.

“I don't deny that in terms of perception, we need to improve our actions. But the 11% drop in crime rate was not said by us. It was international bodies which said it,” he added, urging the public to inform the authorities if there were areas which needed urgent attention.

Hishammuddin said he would have to discuss with the relevant ministries, local authorities and the private sector on the possibility of mandatory 24-hour surveillance of parking lots following a spate of robberies and attempted abductions in the past two weeks.

“We have to talk to them and see whether (there are) legal (obstacles) or operational matters. We are open to any kind of contribution that will help,” he said.

The Government, added Hishammuddin, was also considering a move to expand the “omnipresence” of authorities at schools in a bid to enhance public confidence in the safety of their children in such public places.

The Cabinet had discussed this issue in light of the recent kidnapping of Dutch boy Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, he said.

“We will also try to involve volunteer corps such as Rela in this. We believe that with the increased presence in certain areas at certain times, it will change the perception (of poor public safety),” he said.

Nayati was abducted near his home on April 27 while walking to the Mont' Kiara International School but released unharmed six days later. Three people have so far been charged with the kidnapping although the mastermind is still at large in Europe.

On the replacement for the two members of the Independent Advisory Panel on Bersih 3.0 who opted out, Hishammuddin said it was the panel's prerogative to find suitable candidates to fill the vacancies.

He stressed that his ministry still intended to release its video compilation of incidents during the Bersih 3.0 rally but only after the panel had viewed the footage and presented its opinions to the ministry.

Become a fan on Facebook