THE word safety has, perhaps, been the most used word in Eric Chew’s vocabulary for the last five years.
Passionate about the community, safety and women’s empowerment, Chew has been a permanent fixture in the Petaling Jaya community for his efforts in fighting crime.
The ever-smiling Chew joined the world of crime fighting in 2009 when he helped set up the Taman Gasing Indah Rukun Tetangga after crime rates and violence escalated in their neighbourhood.
His tenure with fellow RT members there gave him memorable experiences that has helped spur his determination to combat crime even further.
“With the help of the police, I once saved a girl trapped in her house by burglars and it was both scary and exciting but the effort was worth it,” he added with glee recalling a few other female rescue cases as well.
However, Chew was not satisfied with that alone and believes in educating people to be aware of their surroundings and the dangers they may face.
He conducts free workshops and educates students and teachers at a number of schools on topics like dengue education, crime, herbal garden projects, interactive automated recycling centre and road safety.
Attempting to spread education even further, he has penned three books — Women’s Personal Defense in four languages, a Management Guide for low-cost flats and apartments and a comic-inspired book on safety for teenagers that will be launched in September.
He has published all the books with his own money and sells them to corporate and government agencies at nominal prices to cover the printing and publishing costs.
Chew believes that people need to play a role in helping keep the streets safe and good leadership is necessary to empower people to come together.
“We need to make the people around us feel beautiful because it will make them believe in themselves and help others. This will snowball and help create sustainability in the end,” says Chew.