You can probably guess what Malaysians say their most important political issue is: the economy. But do you know the second most important issue? The answer is: crime. News of crime features strongly in the media and is a natural concern for all decent citizens. That’s why one of our country’s achievements that we should be proud of is our ranking by the Global Peace Index which ranked Malaysia as the safest country in Southeast Asia.
There is never room for complacency in this area, though – there will always be a minority who selfishly break the rules of our society for their own gain. So let me explain what we are doing to keep up the momentum. The Crime Busting National Key Result Area (NKRA) has several specific targets to reduce crime and aims to improve the performance of the PDRM.
This NKRA seeks to optimize resources and focus on certain common crimes. For instance, vehicle theft, which is the most common crime, was singled out and tackled by more frequently patrolling housing areas, parked cars and motorbikes as well as enforcement against illegal workshops that contribute to vehicle theft.
Fortunately in Malaysia, we are spared from catastrophic crime, attributed mainly to the efficiency of the PDRM’s counter-terrorism team. Research according to the NKRA annual report showed that between 2006-2009, street crime was the main contributing factor to crime committed in Malaysia. A lot of the progress in reducing street crime is down to the expansion of the Omnipresence and Safe City Programmes, by hiring and deploying more personnel to the streets as well as upgrading and installing infrastructure.
In terms of personnel, we now have over 3 million volunteers with RELA working around the clock to keep our cities safe. The police are also coming out to engage with local people and holding roundtables with NGOs, such as the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF). Within the force, the Balai League Table continues motivating officers to deliver quality performance consistently to better serve Malaysians.
In conjunction with increased manpower, we have equipped police stations and local authority hotspots with Safe City Monitoring Systems to keep an eye on crime. In the last year over 8,000 enhanced lighting posts, 1300 safety mirrors and 100km of railings and curbs have been brought in nationwide.
As a result, we experienced significant drops in both Street Crime (39.7%) and Index Crime (11.1%), with over 8,000 confiscations and arrests made through various National Operations. 23% of those arrests were brought to trial, overachieving on our 2011 target. This has resulted in improved public perception on police performance and service overall. Nevertheless, the Government acknowledge the common belief that crime is still prevalent, and we endeavour to listen and attend to your concerns. It is our duty as the Government to also reduce the discrepancy between public perception on crime and the improving reality.
We have had much to show for our efforts, but will continue to pursue excellence in this area in order to ensure the safety of the people. We all have a role to play in this. I encourage Malaysians – from individuals to communities – to support our efforts and take ownership towards building a safer neighbourhood, community and ultimately, a safer country.