PETALING JAYA: Criminals have no fear of the police and are even daring enough these days to rob during dinners, weddings and funerals.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who is Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman, said the criminals believe they won’t get caught due to poor law enforcement.
“I feel we have lagged in terms of law enforcement that strikes fear in the hearts of the criminals,” he said.
Just days ago, a group of about 10 parang-wielding men held up several customers and the owner of the Simmei Seafood and Steamboat restaurant at Taman Taynton View in Cheras.
The robbers, wearing crash helmets, arrived in two cars at about 5am when the customers were having supper.
They got away with about RM4,000 from the cash register and a total of about RM16,000 in cash and valuables from the customers.
Such shockingly brazen robberies is causing the public to lose respect for the police and law enforcement.
“There should be zero tolerance to crime,” Lee said. “Enforcement agencies must have a no-nonsense approach to law enforcement to regain the trust and respect of the people.
“There must not be double standards and the law must be enforced without fear or favour.”
According to Lee, cooperation between the public and the police must be stepped up as well.
“Such initiatives will make for more-effective crime-prevention efforts,” he said.
He said this could be in the form of having more Rukun Tetangga areas and organising joint patrols with policemen.
“There is also a need for more public awareness of such campaigns,” he added.
Taman Gasing Indah Rukun Tetangga chairman Eric Chew said there are about 35 residents taking part in the voluntary patrols in his neighbourhood.
“We patrol on foot from 9pm to midnight every night and occasionally have two or three policemen in the group.”
Chew said his Rukun Tetangga also organises talks and other community-based activities to encourage residents to combat crime together with police.
Businessman Seng Tack Soon, 44, who is the Taman Sungai Besi Rukun Tetangga chairman, also wants to organise additional activities such as gotong-royong and potluck parties for residents to socialise.
“There are about 65 residents taking part in the patrols, which happen at least three times a week, from 8pm to 11pm.
“On average 15 to 20 members take part each time,” Seng said.
While these volunteer patrols are a big help to the police in the fight against crime, the Rukun Tetangga groups are also helping to unify Malaysians and promote good neighbourliness.