KUALA LUMPUR: Ten women MPs put aside their political differences yesterday and demanded that the authorities take stern action to prevent rising crime, especially following the brutal rape and murder of Canny Ong.
“Cases of abduction-rape-murder in the past weeks have led to women worrying about their safety in public places like car parks, bus stops, parks and other lonely spots,” said the group’s spokesman Datuk Napsiah Omar said.
Noting that while the victims of sex crimes were often women, she said men were also victims in cases such as property theft, burglary and murder.
“If such crimes are not controlled, the people regardless of age, sex, gender, religion and political beliefs will become victims,” Napsiah, the Kuala Pilah MP, told a press conference.
The conference was hastily organised by DAP’s Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng at the Parliament lobby.
The idea for the women MPs to get together to express their horror about the rise in violent crimes came to Chong yesterday morning.
Despite the short notice, she got half of the 20 women MPs to put down their signatures in a joint statement.
In her letter to the women MPs to sign up, Chong said although they were from different parties, they should be concerned about the matter and be worried about security for women.
“I think the people are hoping for us to represent them on this,” she said.
Napsiah said the women MPs would raise the matter with ministers and make suggestions on how best to deal with crime in the country.
She revealed that she, like some of her colleagues at the conference, had also been victims of crime.
Napsiah’s house was broken into last year while Chong and MIC's Kapar MP P. Komala Devi recounted that they had been targets of snatch thieves.
Napsiah said women MPs wanted the Home Ministry to increase police personnel and patrols in residential areas, shopping complexes and other public places.
Komala Devi said the Government needed to increase police manpower.
“When a snatch thief tried to grab my bag as I was walking to the car park, I was only a few blocks away from a police station,” she said, referring to her experience in 2001.
Umno's Gombak MP Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail called for greater Rukun Tetangga patrols in residential areas.
The other MPs who also signed the statement were Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan, both from DAP. Permatang Pauh MP and Parti Keadilan Nasional president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PBB's Batang Sadong MP Sukinam Domo, Umno's Sepang MP Datin Paduka Seripah Noli and Gombak MP Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail, and MCA's Padang Serai MP Lim Bee Kau.
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