And if the IGP wants to withdraw his men from duty in response to our complaints, go ahead, it makes no difference!

My father came home from his midday lecture to a feeling of something amiss when he stepped into the house. My mother was out for a haircut at that time. When he stepped into the room where he kept his notebook, he was overwhelmed by the worst fear of every home owner; his notebook was not where it was. His home had been burgled. He quickly exited the house and called the police. The burglars had stolen everything of value including his new 42″ flat screen TV. How they walked out boldly with a large TV at midday is anyone’s guess! This incident happened the day AFTER I started writing this article.

In May 2010, Malaysia’s Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein announced the crime index rate had dropped by 15.3% while street crime dropped a whopping 38.7%! When I first read this, I thought he must have made a mistake. To announce that street crime had dropped by almost 40% is almost ludicrous, I feel. And sure enough, there was a barrage of criticisms to his announcement.

So many things ran through my mind: if street crime is down by 40%, that would mean we should see and hear only half as many stories of snatch theft. I have not. We should hear fewer stories of laptops being stolen from Starbucks and Coffee Bean. I have not. We should hear fewer stories of people being robbed. I have not.

Maybe the home minister did not check his facts or maybe he pieced his facts together by manipulating the numbers.

Police being trained to stand so still that even criminals don't know they are there | Source:
Police being trained to stand so still that even criminals don't know they are there | Source:

A month of peril

In December 2010, a lady friend was robbed as she was leaving her office. A man threatened her with a knife and demanded her phone, jewellery, laptop and purse. She was an office administrator of a small company.

In the same month, my cousin nearly had his car jacked while he parked it outside his house. Three men in a car pulled up behind him and beckoned him over. He, being a good Samaritan, thought they needed directions in his neighbourhood. Instead, one man grabbed him while another snatched his car keys. Fortunately, he managed to struggle free and ran into a neighbour’s house for refuge. He owned an old Honda Civic.

In that month also, an ex-colleague had her bag snatched while walking to the bus stop after work. She sustained bodily injury and loss of her possessions. She worked as the clerk in a small company.

Checking a popular local website for secondhand notebooks around that time, I saw advertisements of people selling off their mouse and notebook’s power cable. I thought it was strange until I read that their notebooks were stolen in public places. The thief had simply unplugged the power cable and mouse and walked off with the notebook.

Who is the bogeyman?

When I was a small boy, I was warned if I was not careful, I would be kidnapped by an Indian man. When I was a young man, I was warned if I was not careful, my home would be broken into by an Indonesian man. Now I am in my forties and I am warned the Nigerians are now the new criminals in the country. And this is part of the problem: stereotyping. Who is the next bogeyman? The South Americans visiting our country? Yes, apparently it was the South Americans who robbed my family, according to the police to whom we made the report. It seems to me it is easier to blame a group of people than to carry out the task of actually lowering the crime index.

Let us not get down to bashing the police force for the sake of bashing them. But if the police are there to protect and serve then they must meet their goals. Would a private corporation allow failure to meet targets year after year? Is it any wonder movies such as Robocop feature the police force bring corporatised?

It is seems to me the police has generally failed in lowering crime. Well, I feel so. Yet, they are all we have. They are the first people we run to when in danger or being a victim of crime. Thus, I do not expect the IGP to counter criticism by threatening to withdraw his men-in-blue from protecting the rakyat. Is this the proper response for a proud institution whose men and women are in the service of their fellow rakyat?

What do I expect?

If crime is down, I should feel safer. The crime index may be officially and significantly lower but I do not feel safer. I am sad to report, the “statistics” link at the Royal Malaysian Police’s website is down. Two weeks ago, I could obtain statistics for crime involving narcotics but none on street crime. Today, the link to their statistics page just links back to the main page. I wonder, if the the crime index is down and the police are gaining ground in their fight against criminals, should not the website proudly display their results? I would have put those results on the main page!

Last month, a lady friend was kidnapped by men as she made her way home. They cornered her car with their vehicle, jumped into hers and took her for a terror ride. They threatened to gang rape her if she could not convince her family to pay the sum demanded. My friend is a very talented, bubbly girl who worked in a furniture store. It broke my heart to see her in a state after the incident.

During the Thatcher administration, KPIs were introduced in hospitals to increase productivity and weed out waste. In hospitals, KPIs were measured by the number of beds occupied. In order to meet the targets without increasing productivity, the hospital cunningly reclassified “stretchers” as “beds”! That means, while laying on a stretcher waiting to be transferred to a free bed, the hospital have met their “bed occupancy” quota. Is this how our crime index was lowered?

Two years ago, my friend’s brother was robbed near the Sogo Department Store. When he went to make a police report, he was told by the policeman on duty to not bother as they would be unable to catch the robber. Is this another way of lowering the crime index; by discouraging official reports?

Without real statistics, I can make a few assumptions:

  • The home minister and the police department pulled a “Thatcher KPI shuffle” on us.
  • The crime index has indeed been reduced overall except it has now concentrated among my acquaintances.
  • The crime rate has not changed but has worsened.

Still, I believe the crime index can be lowered. The rakyat are already following all the good advice to avoid being victims but we are not equipped to fight violent crime. No, such crimes must be handled by the police. If the police do not, then all is lost.

Already many groups of rakyat are helping keep the crime index down by employing private guards to protect their properties in gated communities. By all reasoning, I should feel safer. But I do not. I expect the police force to perform their duty and focus on actually lowering the crime index.

The hair salon: more influential than putrajaya? | Source:
The hair salon: more influential than putrajaya? | Source:

Mister Home Minister, I really did not expect you to have said, “Most victims are women. What do women do? They go to the hairdressers… they chit-chat and suddenly it (crime) is everywhere and cause people to fear.” How can you simply trivialise the concerns of the rakyat? I expect you to effectively do your job and lower the crime index, and not dazzle me with plain numbers.

Make me feel safe in my country again.

Pepper Lim was a coward who has decided not to sit on his ass any more but to get up and do something to help make Malaysia the best country in the world. He also has plans to make his family proud.

And well, you might as well withdraw the police from their duty as you threatened to, it makes no difference!

Pepper is the father of two adorable children named Paprika Lim and Saffron Lim. "Dear Paprika" is a series of letters written for posterity. When Paprika is 20 years old, he will be 61. He prefers to...

24 replies on “Dear Minister, lower crime rate my foot!”

  1. Please check the narcotic Police Station Petaling Jaya Branch. The place where suited among the corporate offices and the Sergent and Inspector and any officer in charge are ready to negotiate for bribery in order to release the person who failed in the urine test. Never be surprise with the collection they made everyday. The truth is ugly, the ignorance is uglier. May God bless us all.

  2. Hmmmm….regarding our PDRM, I can speak only based upon my experiences when our house got robbed!

    It was during Ramadhan few years back, we realised we had been rob about 4am. When I called the police, the 1st thing they asked me, what race was the robber? Imagine that! I said,who knows,they are not here anymore. So, they asked me to come in to the Sungai Petani Town office to make my report. I had to wait about 35 minutes as the officers were having their "sauh". When the officer arrived finally, I gave a report and then I was asked to go to the newly opened headquarters to see the investigating officer. It was a multi storey building with poor signs then, so I now,frustrated , took some time to find the particular officer. Then, I had to wait another hour as the officer was busy. I finally met him, but to my astonishment, he came out from his room. When I went in, there was only one bloody door. Sighs! So, he counter checked my report and then I was send home. The officer and few of his subordinates arrived, a good 2 hours later. He came in, drew a plan of the house while others were dusting for finger prints. The officer told me, there was not much hope to find the culprits in this kind of cases. How very cheeky! So, they just ended up making mess of the place and left. So, my thought of the PDRM is-YOU GUYS ARE REALLY LOUSY! Anyway, there should be some good ones there. I just havent met them or maybe those type have be extinct for some time now.

  3. I think the police force should revisit their training methodology. They are still training to combat communist terrorists and really do not have any inkling as to how to to fight street crime.

    Reduce your drills and standing still. This only encourage the cops to take leisurely drives in their vehicles. They should be on foot looking out for thieves and other culprits.

    I really pity the guy who lost his iron grates.

    I lost mine after i reversed my car, went out of the house for 10 minutes only to see my drain cover missing upon my return.

    It was 1030 am on a Sunday and my sick wifey was still at home.

    But I do have police pattol car on the road in my housing estate every 2 hours.

    I do realise the police have more priority tasks of verifying sex scandals and moonlighting.

  4. Hello guys calm down

    We all have mothers sisters & daughters

    Do we really need to be so crude?


  5. kasutraya,

    hello ah beng. i'm a male n i dont bocor like fong pung kok wan. ask before ur type shit here.


    oh really? i thought the rocket logo of DAP looks more like an impotent penis. cannot even go halfway thru vagina and last just 4 a split of second.its all symbolized in buku jingga.

  6. I think it's a matter of integrity and the police force doing their job. Yes, I see police cars patrolling, but only in suburban areas, not those rife with crime. I vaguely remember a Minister saying he wanted to pull out cops from Chow Kit because they themselves were afraid of the crooks there.

    Its sad to see the police efficiently dispersing crowds at protests, but too scared to combat crime, their primary goals.

    Nevertheless, a good article. I'm glad you raised this issue.

  7. Corruption, unfortunately, is rife within the Malaysian police force—many off-duty cops are loaning their service firearms to criminals in return for illicit profits. It's become a tradisi.

  8. Statistics is open to manipulation. Is there a guarantee that what the minister announced is the truth? If the figures dropped they only drop on the papers but not at the crime scenes. Crimes are still high and our police is busy harassing the opposition politicians instead of keeping criminals at bay.


  10. Many malays have become victims and unfortunately I'm one of them. Sometimes the police refuse to record victim's report. That's one of the way the crime rate is lowered.Through my own experience, the police do not want to solve the crime even if we victims are willing to cooperate by furnishing important info.

  11. This is further proof that self praise is no praise !

    Are you sure the crime rates has dropped or may be the men in blue are taking a nap and as a result nothing much is happening. They are responsible for most of the crimes and killings !

  12. Why are most of the victims non malays and why are the Polis not addressing the problems faced daily by so many?.

    The Home Minister should explain the high no of crimes daily affecting the minorities in Malaysia and what steps aare being taken to STOP these criminals,otherwise the Polis may be seen as being prejudiced in their work.

    Do not allow such inactions to spoil the reputation of PDRM.

  13. But But jentayu..isnt sticking up someones ass with a foreign object the new logo of UMNO…???..If u c closely the keris bends accordingly to the path of the rectum…Its all there explained in UMNOs constitution on page 12,453 !

  14. Just last saturday, my heart was stolen..she's a fox lemme tell you that.. haih.. polis tolong…..

  15. sugardaddykl,

    yeah go fuck yourself. try to don the blue uniform before insinuating everything bout the police force. btw, this bugger piece of writer can stuck a can of pepper up to lim's ass n make love together.

  16. Just this month, my neighbour got her car stolen in broad daylight in Desa Sri Hartamas when she parked her car in an open space.And a bungalow was robbed by 6 Indonesians at 4am in a guarded community.Yeah, fuck your crime index.What bullshit, 1Malaysia.

  17. Dear 2nd class, (you lucky twat you),

    I do not live in a so called "rich people area". In fact a lot of the houses in my area have been reposessed by banks and are being auctioned at ridiculous prices. But of course nobody would buy them, this is a bih gousing complex in Negefri Sembilan. My dad owns a sundry shop, and his shop has been broken into FIVE TIMES. I assure you, it is a very small shop, and the police did nothing but to take his statement, and that is all. It is not a big shop, it is very small, and it is suffering even more now.

    Just recently, the iron grates which covers the sewers in front of our houses were stolen. THE IRON GRATES FOR GOD'S SAKES!!!

    It is very naive to say that only rich people get robbed. And the police are very callous in handling the affairs of us non-rich citizens. Hell, my late grandad was a police, so I'm not singling out the police to be at fault.

    I'm just saying that you, 2nd class, is an ignorant, naive, non-emphatic twat. That's all.

  18. I think rich people area do attract burglars. Your unfortunate incident maybe just an isolated cases. My housing area is relatively uneventful despite no police or private security guards.

  19. Not only will it make no difference if the police are withdrawn, the crime rate might actually reduce!

Comments are closed.