PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has been recognised as the safest country in Southeast Asia and 19th the world, in the Global Peace Index (GPI) report for 2011, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
He said this was proof of the dedication, commitment and had work of all quarters, specifically the Royal Malaysia Police and related agencies.
"It includes the commitment shown by trained police volunteers from the People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) and Civil Defence Department," he said in a statement here Thursday.
He thanked the police and all the agencies involved for ensuring Malaysians were able to live safely, in peace and harmony.
Besides this, he said, last year, the overall crime index recorded a drop of 11% compared with 2010, way above the targeted 5% reduction.
The index for street crimes recorded a 40% decrease compared with 2009, thus meeting the target set, he said.
He said his ministry was committed to retaining the ranking this year by adopting two strategies, the first, beefing up the police with 14,739 more officers and men to conduct more patrolling activities, particularly in the "hot" areas of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor and Penang.
The rest of the states would get 24,000 additional personnel in all, he said.
The second strategy, he said, was to strengthen the Community Policing progamme by getting members of the public including from residents associations to participate in crime prevention programmes.
The initiative includes the 4-Personnel Patrolling Team in the "hot" areas as well as Sabah and Sarawak.
"Under the programme, police personnel will conduct patrols together with Rela and Civil Defence Department volunteers in selected areas to reduce the crime rate and in the process ensure that the people feel the presence of the police," he said. - Bernama