The ‘perception’ of crimePosted: December 3, 2008
Not too many days ago, Najib was saying that crime rates in Malaysia are actually lower than that in Hong Kong and Japan, and that we should change our perception of crime.
I wouldn’t really know, since I’m not in Malaysia. But my dad just came back to NZ from Malaysia recently (a couple of days ago, to be exact), and he had some horror stories to tell.
The perception is, he says, that crimes are happening in broad daylight, and the police actually know about them. He told me that the victims don’t even bother to report the crimes, simply because nothing will be done.
He said someone told him a story of going to the police station to report a gang of snatch theives, and the police said, “Ah, saya tau siapa mereka. Kes kamu dah kes ke-7. Dalam hari ni saja, dah kes ke-7. Kita tau, geng ni operate kat kawasan ni hari ni. Takpe takpe, kita tau.” Makes one wonder why the police know of the “operation”, but they don’t carry out an operation to catch those snatch theives themselves.
And then the perception is that these theives are actually sons of high-up people. Maybe some Datuk’s son, or some Police Inspector’s son. And well, the officers who actually DO catch these theives will “get into trouble” if they were to mess around with them. So might as well sit and not do anything.
But they can’t very well really just sit and do nothing. So they catch the illegal workers who do commit petty crimes. Why catch these and not the other offenders? Well, the perception is that someone will *pay* to get these workers out of detention, or the police will ask that the theif share his spoils in order to go free.
Now. How true all this is, no one really knows. But that’s what my dad came home and told me. And it’s the “perception”. But for as long as crimes are as rampant as they are, with people snatching handbags on motorbikes in broad daylight, these perceptions can only change with a drastic improvement of safety, and a drastic drop in crimes.