Criminals Not Fear of the Law?


(Sorry for missing out on a post last week – something cropped up and I have moved to the dark side of Android. More of this coming up soon)

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(This may look funny but it is hardly a laughing matter, especially when it is not safe to venture out these days. Psst, the whole ATM machines still get “screwed” to this day. Image source: http://www.flickriver.com)

Well, it was not a big surprise:-

Criminals have no fear of the police and are even daring enough these days to rob during dinners, weddings and funerals. Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who is Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman, said the criminals believe they won’t get caught due to poor law enforcement. “I feel we have lagged in terms of law enforcement that strikes fear in the hearts of the criminals,” he said.

(Source)

And

A survey by the International Islamic University Malaysia’s (IIUM) Communication department has shown that crime is the number one concern among Malaysians. IIUM lecturer Prof Datuk Seri Dr Syed Arabi Idid said the results of the nationwide study, conducted between April 6 and 14, showed that crime had surpassed economic woes as the main worry. One out of every three adult respondents said crime had become a national problem.

(Source)

And

M. Danaletchumi pleaded with the robbers and told them her family was poor before she felt the sharp pain on her head and saw blood gushing out from her thumb. A robber had hit the 50-year-old with the handle of a parang and cut her thumb when told there was not much money in the house.

(Source)

Criminals striking fear in broad daylight is nothing new. Even the VVIPs are not spared (if you recall this)

Some weeks ago, I badly needed a good haircut but I had been putting away the visit to my favourite barber until last week. When I finally had the time, I went over to the place and found the barber’s assistant had taken leave and there were about 4 customers waiting for their turn. The barber busy with one of the customer, looked at me when I walked in and asked if I could come back later – there were too many customer at moment and he soon need to take his break. So I went back, took a quick nap and a couple hours later, I came back, hoping that there would be fewer customers by now.

As I parked my car right in front of the barber shop, I noticed a group of young motorcyclists looking at me rather suspiciously. Although I saw them and be more alert than usual, I “ignored” them as I walked into the barber shop – they seemed to be minding their own business and I knew the barber rather well. I waited for my turn and kept looking out at the men outside, hoping they would not do anything “funny” to my car and when it came to my turn, I realized that I am the last customer for the day before the barber closes the shop for the day. Soon, there was no one in the barber shop other than me and the barber and I noticed the motorcyclists that I met earlier were still around in front of the barber shop, occasionally throwing their glances at the barbershop and one was standing quite close to my car.

Soon I realized there were silence (as the barber busied himself with the haircut) and somehow my “spidey senses” went all out high – I started imagining – I imagined a group of men rushing into the barber shop with parang and sticks. It would have been an easy pick for them – me with the key for the my car right outside the shop, phone and wallet with plenty of money and the barber with his collection for the day and mind you, with no other witnesses or CCTV to catch them in the act. Somehow the barber stopping and keep looking out at the group outside did not really help to improve the situation.

Then I heard someone opening the front door and I told myself – “damn, this was it! this was the end” My eyes quickly scanned on the barber’s table looking for any kind of weapon that I could use to defend myself – sharp scissors, shaving blades, hair oil, etc. But just then, the barber spoke out and said that he is closing the shop. Oh, another late customer wanting to get a hair-cut. The customer smiled and then walked out without any incident but somehow I knew it was not over until the barber had done his job (and I was safely back in my car). Then I heard the shutter door coming down – the criminals are drawing down the shutter doors so that they can rob without any interruption? Damn, again. But then it was a no, it was just the barber’s friend who had brought in some meal and kept the shutter down halfway to prevent any other customers walking in. With his friend keeping us company and the barber finishing the haircut, only then I started to feel a bit ease. The motorcyclists who I saw earlier no where to be seen and no one had touched my car.

This is reality of things these days and it started to be getting worse – nowadays it is even not safe even you have plenty of people around (as in restaurants and funerals). So when the Government comes back and keep saying that the rate of crime has been getting lower, one really need to question on its source and whether the police is placing the right priority in managing it’s limited resources. Not when we have this kind of nonsense:-

Student leader Mohd Safwan Anang has also been arrested by police. He was picked up at about 7pm from his house in Sungai Buloh and was taken to the Dang Wangi police station. It is believed that his arrest is in connection with the Black 505 rally at Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya, on Saturday.

(Source)

Come on lah, which is a more serious concern to Malaysians out there? A bunch of people saying out aloud their opinion on the political issues in the country OR need to face violent criminals who struck without any fear or care on diners on broad daylight? Let’s leave the play of gutter politics to the politicians and the police left to focus on the real security issues out there – the enforcement of law and ensuring that the crime rate really goes down, not merely at statistical level but also in common citizen’s perception level.

After all, if it had come to a stage when it does not feel safe to have a simple haircut, I am not sure what else can go wrong and be worse. It’s time to make criminals to know that whatever they do, they can be caught and fear the consequences of breaking the law through effective policing and enforcement. And we cannot do that without an good increase in the force on ground, relocation of the limited resources from non essential investigations (like the one that involves opposition politicians), perhaps more CCTVs and mobile police beats in place at crime prone areas, substantial increase of punishment for armed crimes (looking at the hudud laws makes a lot of sense now) and lastly perhaps banning the pesky “kapchai” (yes, the very favourite mode of transportation for snatch thieves, menacing mat rempits, armed robbers and cold blood assassins) from the roads.

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Let’s Just Ban These Nigerians!


Update 1: More Nigerian drug masterminds being caught in the county. From theStar:-

The 28-year-old Nigerian leader of an international drug distribution ring was masquerading as a college student. He made easy money by luring lovestruck women into smuggling drugs. The man became a major player in the regional drug smuggling trade, but despite keeping a low-profile, his activities were noticed. He was nabbed after a six-month surveillance by police.

Are we still leaving the back door open for more foreign criminals to slip-in through in disguise of students?

Back to the original post

Read these first:-

(The police’s press conference on the arrest the Nigerian drug baron, who soon will be facing the gallows. One has been caught, what about the rest? What about other crimes like internet scams and fraud?)

When will the authorities wake up and put their “foot down” (I mean with serious short & long term action and not just the usual talk cock) on this long nagging problem? Will the Home Minister able to do some serious “out-of-the-box” thinking to get rid of these persistent parasites from Africa for once and for all?

From theStar:-

A Nigerian living like a king in his little palace hideout in Lukut, Port Dickson, was nabbed by the police on suspicion of running a multi-million ringgit international drug syndicate. After six months of surveillance, police moved in on the 32-year-old Nigerian, who has been living a life of luxury in his bungalow house on Saturday and nabbed him and his 31-year-old live-in girlfriend whom he referred to as his wife.

Police investigations also revealed that the suspect, who had been operating in the country for less than a year, owns a hotel in his home country believed to be paid for with money gained from his illegal activities here.

Assets belonging to the man, his girlfriend and his right-hand man in Malaysia worth millions of ringgit have been frozen. The three have been remanded for seven days.

Noor Rashid revealed that in unrelated cases last week, six people from Zambia, Iran and Nigeria, including women aged between 25 and 38, were arrested in KLIA, Puchong and Damansara for drug smuggling. Drugs seized in these cases have a street value of RM7mil.

Kudos to the police in nabbing the criminal (are there others?) and in due time, this criminal and others like him will soon face the gallows (unless the prosecution screws up big time). And whilst the police and to some extent the Immigration Department have been going after the criminals from African (namely from Nigeria) who had overstayed and abused student visa, the more important check should come even before these criminals enter the country. And why we still have Nigerian criminals in this country despite all the hoo-haa in the past on the abuse of student visas by the politicians? Is it because we have been good is nabbing them; we have screwed up in punishing them and in making sure they never return after we had deported them? Are these criminals taking the advantage of the possible corruption or loopholes in the system?

Doesn’t the very fact that they are driving around in luxury cars (and act like morons on the road) and staying at high-end residential areas without a clear indication of their source of income draws one’s doubts? And considering we have yet to nail the South American criminals who did the ATM job in recent weeks (perhaps they have gone back to their own country to let things cool down and be back later), we need to re-look into the operational & review process & procedures in allowing foreigners (especially from dubious countries from Africa & South America and others “watch-list” countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Iran, Pakistan, India and Indonesia) into this country. What is happening to our border patrols? After all, if it is that easy for drug dealers to move in and out of this country, think of the consequences if we have terrorists doing the same.

Are we asking the right questions before we grant these foreigners access to our country? Are our people at these entry points alert enough to single out any suspicious characters for further investigations? Were the verification of documents and other information done extensively before access is granted? Have we checked their source of income? If a clown is coming to this country for Basic English classes, obviously questions need to be raised – why a class on Basic English, why this country (where English is not even the language of Science and Mathematics) and how this clown is going to pay for the classes? From some scholarship, money from parents or from drug money? Is the college registered and recognized by the Government to take in foreign students? Where this clown is going to stay for the duration of his “course”? Is there a guarantee somewhere for his good behaviour? For short term visits, does he has a valid return ticket?

What about his past record from his home country? And since we already deployed biometric registration for foreign workers, have we enforced the same on those who abuse their visas? And go step further with tying up with fingerprint database from the law enforcement agencies (it should not be that difficult considering the infrastructure that we have now) so that those with criminal records can be easily identified at the borders (even if they had changed their name and passport) and entry is strictly denied (or subject to even further questioning & checking).

And before anyone accuses Malaysia on doing selective prosecution or practice selective racism, let me say this upfront aloud – screw you. We have other foreigners as well and a number of them have been living and studying in this country for years without any problems but not the Nigerians and to some extent Iranians. Almost on a monthly basis, you see them in the news caught for illegal activities – if it is not on internet scams, then it is on drugs and other crimes:-

February 2012 – Customs officers have detained a 27-year-old Nigerian man for attempting to smuggle 75 pellets of drugs in a condom which he had swallowed. KLIA Customs deputy director Siti Baya Berahan said the man, suspected to be a drug mule, was held at the airport here at about 11pm Thursday after he had flown in from Lagos.

February 2012 – The High Court sentenced to death a Nigerian man after he was found guilty of drug trafficking two years ago. Judicial Commissioner Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against 34-year-old Oluigbo Eric Chimeze.

April 2012 – Meanwhile, a 27-year-old Nigerian registered as a student of a private college in Kuala Lumpur since June last year, was found with 0.85kg of methamphetamine concealed in a special compartment in his laptop bag, New Straits Times reported on Sunday. Malaysian custom chief Siti Baya said the man was detained by Customs when his laptop bag showed a suspicious image when it was scanned on his arrival from Lagos.

May 2012 – A Nigerian man was sentenced to death at the High Court here Monday for trafficking cannabis two years ago. James Kamara, a student at a private higher learning institution in Kuala Lumpur, was found guilty of trafficking 18,810gm of cannabis at about 9.05pm, at the Shahab Perdana bus terminal here, on Sept 13, 2010.

May 2012 – Following the arrest, police raided two houses in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Damansara on Monday and Tuesday where they nabbed 15 Nigerian men. “The syndicate has been active for more than two years and we believe more victims have been conned by its members,” he said yesterday. ACP Izany also said initial investigation revealed all the Nigerian suspects hold student visas and study at local colleges.

June 2012 – A Nigerian student was jailed for 15 months and ordered to be caned four times by a magistrate’s court for misappropriating RM4,850 from an Iranian student in an online banking scam.

July 2012 – A Nigerian drug mule was arrested with about 400gm of syabu in capsules that she swallowed. The 32-year-old woman, who arrived from Doha, was nabbed at around 7.30pm at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal on June 16.

July 2012 – Five Africans have been arrested for trafficking about RM1mil worth of Syabu. Federal Narcotic Crimes Investigations Department (NCID) director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said police arrested four Nigerians and a Ghanaian man in Kepong at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

July 2012 – Four Nigerian students were charged in the Magistrate’s Court on Friday with trafficking 977 grammes of syabu. The men were charged under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which can be sentenced under Seksyen 39B(2) of the same Act and read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

August 2012 – The High Court here on Sunday sentenced a Nigerian man to death after finding him guilty of trafficking drugs, last year.

August 2012 – A Nigerian cleaner was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the High Court after pleading guilty to an alternative charge of possessing 2.9kg of methamphetamines.

We can tolerate the nonsense from our politicians (which is getting insanely stupid by the minutes these days but it does not matter, we are Malaysians) but we can never tolerate the criminals who come to this country and abuse the entry privileges, take our hospitality for granted, use this country as transit point for all kind of illegal activities, rob & cheat Malaysians at the same time and gain millions of ringgit from their illegal activities whilst continuing to show their middle finger to the law of the country.

(A video of a drug trafficker being caned at Sungai Buloh prison in Malaysia. Despite the severe punishment including the mandatory death by hanging is clearly defined and made known to all visitors to this country, we are still having foreigners bringing in drugs to the country on regular basis. Something is not right here )

If you ask me, probably these criminals should be severely punished and any Malaysians who knowingly help these criminals should be charged with treason and should be charged with the same crime too. No second chance, no sweet talk, no mere threats and certainly no fear of losing influx of foreigners to this country.Yes, it may sound way too extreme but consider this – despite the fact that ultimate punishment for trafficking drugs in this country is the death penalty, the number of people caught with drugs (either as drug mules or drug dealers) does not seem to be reducing. These people are not dumb, they are simply greedy and ruthless.

At end of the day, we may lose some income here and there (some small colleges may have to close down for good but who cares, you never know, it may be run by Nigerians too) but overall this will send a clear message to those foreigners who intend to commit crime in this country. A strong message that says that Malaysians does not tolerate criminals and certainly do not want the good name of this country as being the transit country for criminal activities.

We are more than happy to welcome foreigners to this country for needs of education, business and pleasure but we must certainly be prepared to kick out any foreign criminals from our doorsteps.

Stop Section 114A!


Update 2: theStar reports – The Cabinet is carefully studying Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950 in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s directive, after it became a much discussed matter in cyberspace. Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Wednesday the Government held a firm stand on the matter but so far, there were no plans to make new amendments to the Act.

If I were you, I would not lose my breath over this “Cabinet carefully studying…after Najib’s directive”. Now they have the edge (after all, the Act have been passed by the Parliament), you think they going to let go just like that?

Update 1: I do not know who this Fatimah Zuhri is (a BN cyber trooper?) but running through her “arguments” in support for Section 114A, it is clear she is missing a point in her support for Section 114A (no doubt the amendments have its merits as highlighted by her). The point that she missed is on the burden of proof shifting to the accused. She says that yes, the accused is now guilty until proven innocent but then goes on to say that if one is innocent, then it is easy to prove it so.

This argument is seriously flawed as 1. under our legal system, one always presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, so why the sudden shift then? Will the resources be made available by the authorities for the accused to prove the innocence? and 2. she is talking about proving your innocence using IP & MAC address – is she a computer expert on cyber crime or she is just a casual PC user who knows nothing more than using some easy Microsoft programs and surf the net.

Look at the comments by one Ah Beng under her post and you will realised that proving your innocence using IPs & MAC Addresses may be futile if the real perpetrators are experts in covering their tracks (there are plenty of tools on the net just for that) and since you are presumed guilty until proven innocent, you are screwed. There seems to be a clear loophole on the horizon (since it does not stop anyone who is not happy with what has been written online from hiring certain experts to hack and create trouble for the writers under Section 114A) and that should not be the case.

Back to the original post

Read these first:-

They have been trying to censor the internet for ages now but so far their attempts have whacked them back on their face. This seems to be the latest of their attempt to censor what is said & discussed on the net but this time around, it is coming through the “back door” via the Evidence Act 1950

From Stop114A:-

How does Section 114A affect you?

Titled “Presumption of Fact in Publication”, Section 114A holds the following people accountable for publishing content online:

(1) those who own, administrate, or edit websites open to public contributors, such as online forums or blogs;

(2) those who provide webhosting services or Internet access; and

(3) those own the computer or mobile device used to publish content online.

In other words, if allegedly defamatory content is traced back to your username, electronic device, and/or WiFi network, Section 114A presumes you are guilty of publishing illicit content on the Internet.

But what if you were the victim of identity theft and a hacker wrongfully used your Twitter or Facebook account to post defamatory content?

Under Section 114A, you are still considered guilty until proven innocent.

What is wrong with Section 114A?

Section 114A is problematic for a number of reasons:

i) It disproportionately burdens average Internet users who are wrongfully accused of publishing seditious or defamatory content.

ii) It makes Internet intermediaries–parties that provide online community forums, blogging and hosting services–liable for content that is published through their services.

iii) It allows hackers and cyber criminals to be free by making the person whose account/computer is hacked liable for any content/data which might have changed.

iv) It is a bad law passed in haste and does not take into account public interest and participation.

Click the image below for more details:-

(All images sources: http://stop114a.wordpress.com/)

The Crime Statistics Folly


(How safe you are feeling when you are out these days? Sorry, let me rephrase that – how safe you are feeling when you are out these days considering that the statistics shows a lower crime rate? Image source: http://www.pemandu.gov.my)

Do you believe that the crime rates have dropped drastically over the last few months?

No doubt that the police are doing their very best in combating crime (with breakthroughs like this, this, this and this) but it is also clear (if you have read the news in the last few days) that it does not matter if you are an-ex Chief Minister or a Police Chief or just happen to be within the vicinity of the state police headquarters, you can still get screwed by the criminals:-

The house of former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik was broken into by burglars who took away cash and a pistol. All the occupants of the house were out for a wedding in Malacca during last night’s break-in.

At about 9pm, one of Abdul Rahim’s family members came home but he did not notice anything amiss. However, sources said that after taking a shower, he realised that the master bedroom had been ransacked. When the family returned home and checked their belongings, they discovered that several items and valuables were missing.

“Three rooms were ransacked. The burglars took cash, jewellery, valuables and a pistol,” said a family member.

(Source)

And this:-

The multi-purpose vehicle belonging to the Sentul district police chief was found 12 hours after it was stolen at his home in Taman Chandan Puteri here.

Kuala Kangsar district police chief Superintendent Abdul Gaffaar Muhammad said police found Assistant Commissioner Zakaria Pagan’s Toyota Estima at 3pm yesterday in Pasir Puteh, Ipoh. “Zakaria realised his car was missing when he wanted to go and buy breakfast at 8am.”

(Source)

And this:-

A money changer was robbed following a daring heist by a group of armed robbers just opposite the state police headquarters here.

According to a nearby saloon employee, who wanted to be known only as Joyce, 35, the robbers had used two vehicles to carry out the robbery at around 10.15am along Jalan Harimau Tarom on Tuesday.

(Source)

And in recent spate of robbery and attempted abduction in shopping centres against lone women and multi million ATM robberies (damn, we used to deal with Indonesian and Nigerian criminals but now South American and Middle East criminals are getting in the act too), the question now raised is whether we have been looking at the wrong side of the statistics.

Tony Pua of DAP writes:-

We call upon the Government to stop the spin on the crime situation in the country. There is absolutely no question that the people do not feel safe in the streets regardless of the many “feel good” selective statistics the Government has released to the public.

Datuk Idris Jala claimed that “we as in the police (PDRM), Home Ministry (KDN) and Pemandu have been very transparent in acknowledging that there are 157,891 index crime cases reported in 2011”.

However, if the Government is so confident of its crime fighting achievements, why is it refusing to provide detailed statistics by districts (e.g., Petaling Jaya, Klang, Serdang etc.) or by type of crime (e.g., murder, kidnapping, snatch theft, robbery, armed robbery etc.)?

And the same echoed by PKR’s Dr Wan Azizah:-

In 2010, Malaysia’s Special Branch, according to PKR, spent three times more resources spying on its citizens than it has fighting crime. PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail revealed figures from the 2012 Budget, showing that the police produced 733,237 spy reports and security checks in 2010. In comparison, the number of investigation papers under criminal investigation opened that year was 211,645.

“All in all, the police’s Special Branch produced 733,000 reports on its citizens, spying on roughly 4.3% of the adult population of Malaysia,” said Wan Azizah.

She expressed irony at this, hinting at the rising spate of crime in the country, especially where violence against women was concerned. She said that instead of focusing on crime, the government chose to focus on statistics.

For 2012, the Government has posed the following crime reducing rate and given the recent measures undertaken by the Government in combating crime (like the very assuring Ops Payung especially at commercial areas and more street patrol) and the past results from 2011, I am confident that we can achieve a good part of the said targets (if they are not busy with non-criminal policing work on the oppositions or not being too busy with road blocks & fortification of the Dataran Square for another Bersih-like rally):-

1. Reduce 5% of Crime Index against the year 2011.
2. Reduce 45% of Street Crime Index against the year 2009.
3. Reduce 45% of people who fear of becoming victim of crime.
4. Increase 25% of PDRM charging rate.
5. Increase 65% of public satisfaction on police services.

(Source)

But then again, statistics are at the best is just an indicator and not necessarily reflect the actual crime rate as the computation of the reduction in crime rate is also dependant on other factors like the increase of the population overall and by types and severity of the criminal act. The reliance of statistics alone gets worse if the statistics are manipulated to show better rates as this finding on NYP’s crime statistics shows:-

An anonymous survey of nearly 2,000 retired officers found that the manipulation of crime reports — downgrading crimes to lesser offenses and discouraging victims from filing complaints to make crime statistics look better — has long been part of the culture of the New York Police Department.

The results showed that pressure on officers to artificially reduce crime rates, while simultaneously increasing summonses and the number of people stopped and often frisked on the street, has intensified in the last decade, the two criminologists who conducted the research said in interviews this week. Mr. Browne said the summary’s conclusions drew on respondents’ perceptions, which were not supported by the facts.

According to the summary, for example, a majority of respondents indicated that they lacked confidence in the accuracy of the Police Department’s crime statistics, which reflect an 80 percent drop in major crimes since 1990. Many of the retired officers who participated in the survey said they believed crime had declined since 1990, but “not to the extent claimed by N.Y.P.D. management,” the summary said.

(Source)

As I said, statistics are at the best is just an indicator. There is no point praising the statistics if petty theft crime rate had decreased but armed robbery crime have increased at the same time (Tony Pua’s contention that the current statistics does not detailed statistics by districts or by type of crime) and if the necessary follow-up action have been done. The Government no doubt must continue to evaluate the measures already taken to bring down the crime rate (even though the statistics may show good figures) – what works must be continued with more vigour, commitment and frequency and what does not work should be shelved and replaced something more effective.

We have commenced the biometric registration for the foreign workers but how effective it is considering that we continue to have criminals in disguise of students from Nigeria (“students” from Iran is another time-bomb waiting to blow – just wait and see) to continue to come over to this country to create trouble and commit crime (although the authorities have closed the gap) and now having South American & Middle Eastern criminals doing high profiled crimes in the country – how long it is going to be before things gets worse and foreign criminals start running the show in this country?

And have we started to look into the legal loopholes and stiffer punishment for the repeated hard-core criminals? How many of them have come out and committed the same crime, perhaps with fatal consequences?

Someone who I know was robbed just a couple days and when talking to the policemen who were very helpful, understanding and determined to solve the case, we heard the sheer frustration from the men in blue. They lament on how they put in the hours (on top of other cases to be solved with pressure from the top, the politicians and the public) and pull in the resources to catch the criminals only to see these criminals back on the streets (committing more crimes) due to loopholes in the law and legal procedures. And when some people die in the act of pursuit and arrest, the police are often blamed as being too aggressive and trigger happy whilst the common criminals elevated to a hero status (read Durai’s excellent “Funeral of a Macha” post for a take on this).

And since we are very concerned on the trend and ease of foreigners (who according to the police are professionals) committing crimes in this country, we should re-look into how the current law addresses crimes committed by these foreign criminals. Just like how foreigners have to pay more for health services and petrol in this country, I think they should “pay” more for their crimes as well. The prison terms or the number of whipping that is provided under the normal law should, automatically and mandatory, be doubled (or tripled) if the criminal charged is a foreigner (of course in due time, high penalty should apply for all criminals – local or foreign).

At the end of the day, we just want to be safe, not only for the citizen of this country but also for foreigners who are here on legitimate reasons but at the same time, the law of this country and the enforcement of it should be so severe and swift that the last thing anyone want to do in the country is to commit crime.

Read these too:-

Hishamuddin Sleeping On The Job

Defenders of traffic criminals vs our fight against crime

Drug Traffickers And Criminals. Is Malaysia A Magnet ?

Champion of Double-Talk?


(Hamza Kashgari is a Saudi poet and a former columnist who was wanted in Saudi for crossing red lines and denigrating religious beliefs in God and His Prophet. He almost got away with it – if not for 1 small mistake – he landed on the wrong country to transit. Image source: http://cdn.bikyamasr.com)

At least, that is what Washington Post is calling the country:-

Malaysia has been labelled a “champion of double-talk” by the Washington Post after deporting Saudi Arabian blogger Hamza Kashgari to face allegations of insulting Prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable by death in the oil-rich kingdom.

“His persecution has been facilitated by another champion of double-talk, the government of Malaysia, which claims to respect the rule of law but bundled Mr Kashgari onto a private Saudi jet Sunday in spite of a court order prohibiting his deportation,” the leading American daily wrote.

(Source)

And whilst we were left wondering why the Saudis had been left to meddle freely with the execution of the law in the country in the above case, this thing happened:-

Thailand charged two Iranians today over an alleged bomb plot against Israeli diplomats, officials said, piling pressure on Tehran over accusations of a terror campaign against the Jewish state. A second Iranian suspect was detained trying to board a flight out of the country while a third suspect is believed to have fled to Malaysia, they said.

(Source)

To be fair, the police had managed to catch the third suspect (Thai police says that there are 5 suspects – did the other 2 managed to sneak into the country?) although the extradition of the suspect back to Thailand is still in the process – latest report states it may even take several weeks (perhaps the Thais should send their plane like how the Saudis did for a quick deportation).

It seemed Malaysia is the preferred country for the Iranian bomb suspects to escape – perhaps due to a large number of Iranians in the country or due to soft tolerance to Nigerian so-called “students” in the past?

(The 3 Iranian bomb suspects who the Thai authorities say is behind the bombing of Israelis in the country, partying with beers and prostitutes before the bomb attack. Image source: http://www.bangkokpost.com)

The Home Minister had said he will not compromise. He had told others not look at Malaysia as a safe transit – he had told them not to think that they can come in and out of Malaysia. And whilst we applaud the steadfast of the Home Minister in ensuring no criminals, scumbags, human traffickers and scammers easily come in and out of the country and endangering the peaceful citizens in the country and creating trouble for others, there is still plenty of work to be done.

There is still the Nigerians scammers, Iranian drug syndicates, human traffickers and now Iranian assassins who been easily coming in and out of the country without anyone pressing on the panic button and who have not suffered the same fate as one poor soul who was on the way to another country and bundled off to his original country despite a court order prohibiting so.

The Home Minister now also need to make sure that there is no double-talk when it comes to detention and deportation of foreigners who is wanted in other countries. There should not only be a standard law that deals with detention and deportation of foreigners but also a standard treatment on how we deal with other Governments when they come knocking on our doors to get their hand on those who have been caught.

Kashgari being denied access to his lawyers and refused repeated requests by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, for access to assess whether Kashgari wished to make a claim for political asylum and deported before the injunction can be served on the authorities whilst the extradition of the Iranian bomb suspects to our nearest neighbor being subject to local laws that may take weeks to resolve.

The Home Minister have stated his stand but we need him to follow through with more consistent enforcement and execution – otherwise being called “champion of double-talk” is hardly a big surprise.

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A Real End of ISA?


I thought it will never be repealed…

(It may finally end but the question is why now and why not in 2009 or in 2010? Any law that allows the Government to hold anyone without any trials, no recourse to the courts and at the sole discretion of certain politicians in power is dangerous, unfair and allows for gross abuse. Poster source: Mob’s Crib)

Mention of the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the past, one would think of national security, proactive actions to curtail attempts to create chaos and violence – that is until this happened in 2008:-

Tan Hoon Cheng, a reporter of the Chinese-language newspaper Sin Chew, was arrested Friday under the Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detention without trial. She was, however, freed Saturday. An opposition lawmaker and the editor of a pro-opposition news Web site were also detained under the ISA on Friday, but have not been released.

The action has drawn widespread criticism from opposition politicians, the Bar Council, human rights groups and now even by some in the government-controlled media.

Tan’s arrest “will go down in Malaysian history as the most controversial, if not most ridiculous,” Wong Chun Wai, the editor of the influential Sunday Star, wrote in a signed opinion piece.

On Saturday, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar defended the three detentions by saying they were necessary to prevent racial conflict. He said Tan, an ethnic Chinese, was arrested because police received information that her life had been threatened.

If that was the case, police should have given her protection instead of arresting her, said Malaysian Chinese Association youth wing chief Liow Tiong Lai. “It is not a clever excuse,” he said in a statement.

“To put it bluntly, the arrest was outrageous and went against the grain of natural justice,” Wong wrote. “In the eyes of the world, we are becoming more like a political basket case each day as old politicians attempt to bring back their outdated tricks,” he wrote.

(Source)

When Najib took over the PM seat in April 2009, one of the first right thing he did was to release 13 people including the 2 key Hindraf activists from ISA detention. That act was laudable even though the arrests under ISA should not have happened in the first place. But back then there were no immediate plans to abolish ISA. Not in 2009 or in 2010.

So it was a big surprise to hear Najib in late 2011 announcing that the ISA will be abolished. It is a big surprise because only recently we saw the manner of his administration reacting on the Bersih 2.0’s electoral reforms rallies.

At this point, it is not clear if the announcement was made in good faith or to deny the Oppositions an important issue for up-coming general elections or simply a delaying tactic whilst a more terrible, severe laws are put in place (perhaps to ensure those in power remains in power?). We will only know what was the real intention once ISA has been actually repealed and the details of the new laws (which Najib says will be enacted to maintain peace, harmony and prosperity) comes under greater scrutiny.

But first, let’s look at the quotable quotes namely the “180 degree turn statements” from the politicians from ruling party who earlier did not actively pushed for abolishment of such draconian laws:-

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek – the announcement made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the Internal Security Act (ISA) repeal was not a mere “proposal”. “It is something which will be implemented,”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin – There should be no doubt over the government’s intention to do away with the Internal Security Act

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak – Barisan Nasional heeded the voice of the people when it decided that the emergency ordinance and Internal Security Act should be abolished

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – the move to abolish the ISA would place Malaysia “on the moral high ground”

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – The Government’s move to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) is in accordance with efforts to uphold basic human rights

After hearing words like “basic human rights”, “moral high grounds”, “heeded the voice of the people” from the very people who failed to uphold it when it was badly needed – don’t you feel you want to puke?

I say this because these are very people (namely Mahathir and Badawi) who were in a position to do something on ISA in the past and yet did nothing but when Najib announced it, they jump into wagon band applauding it. And despite that, it is apparent that on the other end – assuming the PM is serious with his plans for ISA, it is not going to be smooth road ahead:-

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz – we can’t just abolish the acts overnight without considering national security,

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein – Those currently detained under the Internal Security Act would remain in custody until the new laws are passed

A reader at The People’s Parliament – It’s a gimmick. Just like when the Anti-corruption Agency was replaced by the MACC, it was promised that the MACC would be like the Hong Kong Anti-corruption Agency where corruption would have zero-tolerance

Former PM, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – Datuk Seri Najib Razak should expect hardliners in Barisan Nasional (BN) to resist his plans to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA) and other security laws because they want to maintain the old ways to silence critics.

There is no doubt that many especially the Oppositions are taking the stand of waiting and see whether the abolishment of ISA will actually take. At this point, there are many uncertainties.

What is the form of the new laws that is going to replace ISA? Will it end up as another “new wine in old bottle”? And the Home Minister have ruled out the immediate release of ISA detainees until the new law comes in force. That means these detainees will remained locked up in Kamunting with an uncertain future. And why the PM did not call for emergency sitting of the Parliament for the abolishment of ISA and amendments of other restrictive laws to be tabled and approved?

Najib have been talking about transformation, high-income nation and of course, the role of 1Malaysia in his administration. No doubt there have some success in this but implementation of it have somehow tainted by inter-party politics and anti-Opposition political driven motives, driven by people who put the politics ahead of the country.

The promise to abolish draconian laws like ISA is always welcomed. No doubt, the Government of the day has the right to take drastic actions to ensure peace and security for its citizens and in doing so, may do so in denial of individual basic rights. But it has to be done without any double standards. Reasons used by the Government in the past to arrests citizens under ISA unfortunately have not been applied in the same manner & force on those closely linked to the Government and ruling political party. This is why there have been a greater call for the repeal of such laws. Laws that lately seemed to be frequently used to enforce the power position of the Government and silencing of those who are against the Government.

We are not sure sure the nature and the scope of the new laws that will replace ISA. We just hope it does not turn to be another case of ACA turned MACC gone bad (after Teong Beng Hock, it seems they still have problems at its end). And if Najib is indeed serious in making positive changes to promote the uphold of human rights and dispel the doubts that Government is indeed serious to do away with laws like ISA, he should not waste time getting repeal process in motion. And it should be done before the next general elections (the same goes for his promise on electoral reforms).

Najib have spoken but whether things spoken will translate to actual action, we need to wait and see. Najib is moving in the right direction and he need to keep up the momentum to ensure his promise cascades down his administration and political circle, otherwise it will end up as another election gimmick.

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Ops Sikap: Attitude vs Enforcement


UPDATE: Good to hear that the police is going all out for those who is speeding on the roads. Hopefully they will find better ways to crack down pesky motorcyclists and enforce the law on those who change lane without putting on the indicators, abuse the emergency lane, hog the roads, etc

Back to the original post

(Caught this video back in 2008 of those who abuse the emergency lane – nothing have changed in 2011. Will we see change of attitude in 2012?)

Read Part 1 & Part 2 first

I thought of replying it under the comment box but looking at the length of my reply, I might as well put it as a reply post:-

Hi Visithra

Thanks for your comments – it is heartening to know that the authorities do take the enforcement serious

I think everyone (me, you, the authorities, etc) do agree on one thing – there is a serious attitude problem with fellow Malaysians when they are on the road (it is the same in every other country as well). I have been saying the same thing too. And I am not saying that that the authorities are not enforcing the law at all but the problem is that they are not doing enough to enforce the law (I will come to the part of “what the solution, then” shortly).

In relation to attitude problem, you ask “why can’t we change?” Good question there but unfortunately there are certain things you can do to call people to change their attitude when they are on the road – organising safety talks, campaigns on mainstream media and public areas, compilation of statistics, etc but it will come to a point where these “soft approach” had done its part. If nothing much changed positively (as evident from Ops Sikap 24 statistics and your comments that no matter what you tell them they go back to doing the same thing), it is high time for the Government to take stronger measures.

It is up to you to advocate the continuation of the soft approach – participate in road safety campaign, give out free helmets (which probably ends up on the motorcycle basket rather than on their head), etc and hopefully one day these road users will see the light at the end of the tunnel and change their attitude.

But seriously, don’t you think that the Government have been doing that for donkey odd years? It may have moved a small percentage of them but a bulk of them seemed to have remained stubborn and unmoved. If this soft approach has been effective, wouldn’t it have worked – even if number of vehicles on the road sky-rocketed? That is my point preciously. Let’s have a look at the statistics (you can “google” them for the sources):-

Deaths in Ops Sikap 21 = 241
Deaths in Ops Sikap 22 = 218
Deaths in Ops Sikap 23 = 199
Deaths in Ops Sikap 24 = 289

Summons issued in Ops Sikap 23 = 167,868
Summons issued in Ops Sikap 24 = 133,808

After the end of Ops Sikap 24 which saw a huge increase of fatality (if number of cars to be blamed, shouldn’t deaths in Ops Sikap 21 – 23 be increasing as well?), it is obvious that they need to relook into these soft approaches and revamp the whole strategy. It is ok if those with serious attitude problems go and kill themselves in road accidents but it does not happen that way – it affect others as well directly or indirectly. It impacts the family, other innocent road users (who were at the wrong place and at the wrong time), and the country as whole.

Just a couple days ago, I witnessed a bus with full load of passengers streaming down the highway at more than 120 km/h weaving in and out of the fast lane – it must be someone’s lucky star that it did not hit anyone and end up killing someone on the road. So how we are going to prevent a repeat this incident? Send all bus drivers to road safety seminar and hope that they will drive safer the next day? Given the fact that bus drivers are driven by the economics of trips per month, I have my doubts that soft approach will cause bus drivers to be slower on the roads. What else can be done?

Let’s say the authorities are indeed serious in enforcing the law but having a problem of unable to be everywhere at the same time – the question is what they are doing about it?

In my last post, I talked about the need for road safety operations to be conducted all around the year (road safety operations here does not means road safety seminars in some posh hotels). And I made my share of the noise when they canceled the plans to increase the fine to RM1,000 – that should have been introduced for hardcore road offenders. Then there were talks of “Automated Enforcement System” at certain hot-spots – are they widening the scope of enforcement? What about those traffic cameras that snaps the photos of those who jump the red light? Surprisingly I don’t see them anymore in most of traffic lights where jumping the red light is a norm.

Most fatalities happened on federal and smaller roads and here, it would be harder to monitor but that does not mean the traffic laws cannot be enforced especially when seeing a motorcyclist on public roads without any helmet. Of course, there will be issue of manpower and resources but the starting cost for these can easily off-set from the summons collected from the traffic offenders and relocation of resources from other areas (as how it is done in battling other crimes with more policemen deployed on the streets).

On my part, whenever possible, I snapshot of those abuse the traffic laws (in particular the emergency lane) and sent them to JPJ for their further action for I believe call for attitude change is a waste of time. If the authorities provide some good incentive for people to be their eyes and ears in catching the road offenders in their act, I am pretty sure that there will be more people helping the authorities and the level of enforcement would be more effective.

These are just some of actions that the government agencies involved in reducing the number of fatalities could do. Such measures are NOT new and I am sure, is not something that they have not thought about. So, what’s stopping them from enforcing it?

I am not saying that we should stop the soft approach completely – there are still new, inexperience drivers coming on board every year. Who knows, it may do good for some of them especially when it is done from school level and up. However, given the fact that the statistics of Ops Sikap 24 which saw higher fatalities compared to Ops Sikap 23, 22, 21, the authorities should also relook into the aspect of enforcement – PDRM & JPJ in particular (leave JKJR to focus on the soft approach). And they need to do this before start of Ops Sikap 25.

Thank you