ALOR SETAR: The Ops Cantas Khas mounted by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) since two weeks ago is not targeting any particular race but is a serious effort of hunting down criminals to curb crime, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the claim that PDRM was targeting a certain race was baseless as out of the 4,626 people arrested in the operation so far, 2,581 were Malays, 715 Chinese and 1,146, Indians.
"It (Ops Cantas Khas) is not targeting any particular race, as we are colour blind in this matter. Please don't think that the police are focusing on those from a certain race who commit crime," he said during a working visit to the Kedah police contingent headquarters here on Tuesday.
He said the crime problem must be dealt with seriously to restore public confidence in PDRM.
"All this while, some people have been condemning the police due to the many murders, shootings, other violent crimes, break-ins, robberies and so on happening in the country.
"So, I need the full cooperation of PDRM to restore public confidence in the force. But it is clear with the success achieved so far, public confidence in PDRM has increased.
"In Kedah this year, the crime index has dropped by 11.5%, and violent crime and crime involving property by 14% from last year's figures. I think more success in combating crime will be achieved by the year-end," he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the public must support police efforts, for instance, by joining the "Rakan Cop" programme, which he would be re-launching, while the number of auxiliary police personnel and youth squads would be increased.
"Outside the police force, we will be beefing up Rela (People's Volunteer Corps) and the same with the Civil Defence Department to assist the police in crime prevention."
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that since Sept 1, the Immigration Department had, launched a massive operation to weed out illegal immigrants.
"This will continue, while there have been discussions with representatives of the source countries in addressing the problem," he said.On Aug 30, the Home Ministry had announced that there were a total of 40,313 gang members in the country. Of the number, 1,923 are Malays, 8,214 Chinese, 28,926 Indians, 329 in Sabah and 921 in Sarawak.