RISE IN VIOLENT CRIMES (July 1): An average of four women were raped daily while there were three murders every two days in the country in just the first five months of the year, said CID Director Comm Datuk Seri Salleh Mat Som. He said 250 people were murdered and 588 women raped during the period, with Selangor, Johor and Kedah topping the list as states with the most crimes.
MORE POLICE (June 29): The Government has agreed to recruit 23,000 more police personnel at various levels to beef up the force to cope with the increasing workload. Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said this would be done in stages over the next two years.
THUGS ADVERTISING (July 1): Thugs have started advertising their “services” by circulating business cards offering to “fix” someone for a fee, said MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Michael Chong.
SAFER CAR PARKS (July 4): The Cabinet has agreed to amend the laws to make it mandatory for owners and operators of car parks to have standard minimum safety features for users. The safety features would include proper monitoring through closed circuit cameras, good lighting and ample security personnel.
ONE IN FOUR (July 5): One in four Malaysians can expect to suffer from cancer in their lifetime with the majority of cases aged above 40, according to the first National Cancer Registry Report.
SIGNS OF REVIVAL (July 3): The local housing industry is slated for a revival following the return of buying interest, particularly for affordable homes, said Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui.
FAST TRACK (July 2): Malaysian-born scientists and those working in the field of new technologies abroad will be given “fast track” approval if they want to return, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Their visa or applications for permanent resident status would be approved in the shortest possible time, he said.
PRICE CUT (July 4): Players in the film, music and computer industries have two weeks to come up with viable ideas on how to reduce the prices of optical discs and computer software. If they fail to do so, the Government will enforce the Price Control Act 1946 to set a ceiling price for the items.
ANTI-TERROR CENTRE (July 2): The Malaysian-funded South-East Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism was formally established on Tuesday and went straight to business – organising a money-laundering seminar next month.
FACT OR FICTION (July 1): Singapore’s move to publish a book to give its version on the stalled water talks with Malaysia has prompted Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to question whether the republic is trying to mislead citizens from both countries. Malaysia is now considering the publication of a book on negotiations with Singapore over the water issue to counter allegations made by the island republic.
NYPD IN MALAYSIA (July 1): The New York Police Department is to station its officers in Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries as part of its own international intelligence-gathering network because it cannot depend on US federal agencies like the FBI and CIA to do so.
CEASEFIRE (June 30): The Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad declared a three-month suspension of attacks on Israelis, a move that could boost a fragile US-backed peace plan. But Israel immediately dismissed the ceasefire as a “ticking bomb”, saying a truce would give the groups time to strengthen themselves.
RM95MIL REWARD (July 4): The United States has offered US$25mil (RM95mil) for information leading to the capture of ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein or confirmation of his death.
LAST PATIENTS (July 3): The last three patients with SARS in Guangdong left hospital on Wednesday, marking a red-letter day in the area where the global outbreak began last November.
The three were among 1,570 people who were infected with SARS in the province, which also tallied 58 fatalities.
INSENSITIVE SUGGESTION (June 30): US Muslims were angered by a state senator who distributed a flier which suggested suicide terrorist attacks might be deterred by burying attackers' bodies with pig entrails. Guy Glodis, a Democrat in the Massachusetts state legislature, sent a flier to 39 colleagues recounting the execution of Muslim extremists in the Philippines by US General John Pershing in 1913.