Singaporeans, better stay away!

Of late, there has been some active reporting by local media on crimes in and around Johor Bahru, Asia’s most southern city in the mainland continent. Regardless whether the statistics really showed there is a substantial increase or it is only a perception, especially played up by media and/or political agenda behind it, the local people are becoming edgy. The solutions of this issue could be ‘manipulated’ by certain parties for their own narrow agenda.

The issues brought to attention ranged from the rape case, which include the most gory Nurul Huda Ghani, age ten, to petty snatch cases, some which tantamount to manslaughter when the victim eventually dies after resisted to release the snatched purse and got dragged by the perpetrators.

On Sunday, apparently some Johor Bahru residents took this matter up to their own hands. A demonstration organized, most probably instigated by an Opposition political party, outside the Menteri Besar Official Residence, Saujana, to express their grave concern about the increased and increasing crime rates issues, which was broken up by the Police.

The Star, www.thestar.com.my, has the story:

Police break up protest outside Johor MB’s residence

JOHOR BARU: The police stopped an anti-crime demonstration outside the Mentri Besar’s official residence here and picked up two protesters who resisted a police order to disperse.

About 100 people had gathered outside Saujana at 10am to stage their protest.

They were hoping to get the attention of Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman but the Mentri Besar at that time was attending a state Umno meeting in Jalan Yahya Awal, not far from his official residence in Jalan Abdul Rahman Andak.

Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Shafie Ismail used a loud hailer and directed the group to disperse when they started to carry a banner and chant slogans. Most of the protesters dispersed within 10 minutes but the two refused to budge.

ACP Shafie said that they were detained for investigations.

When met at the Umno meeting, Abdul Ghani defended the police action and advised the public not to exploit recent crime cases for political reasons.

There had been two violent rapes over the past week, one involving a 19-year-old girl on June 12 and the other involving a 35-year-old woman the next day.

Last month, a woman who was waiting in a car while her husband went into a toilet was held at knifepoint and taken on a terror ride, gang-raped and robbed.

Last year, in Bandar Baru Uda, Form Three student Syafiqah Mohd Borhan was found dead in a drain with bruises on her head, neck and knees.

In 2001, 10-year-old Nurulhuda Ghani died after being raped and left in a toilet of a guardhouse in Kampung Perkajang in Gelang Patah.

Abdul Ghani said that the victims of the crimes were from different backgrounds.

“The recent rape cases should not be politicised in a racial way.”

This is the Police’s reaction on the same issue, also reported by The Star on Tuesday:

 

Johor police to rent shoplots to boost presence

JOHOR BARU: Policemen will be taking to rented shoplots here, especially in crime-prone areas.

Johor MCA chief Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that 400 police personnel would also be deployed to the state within two to three months.

“Eight temporary stations will start operations as soon as possible, with two in northern Johor Baru, five in eastern Johor Baru, and one more in the central region.

“This will be carried out as soon as possible,” he said, adding that police would also increase their presence in certain hotspots in the city.

Dr Chua said these were interim measures pending the completion of 11 new police stations in the Iskandar Development Region, and also three new district stations.

He was speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting between representatives from the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association, Johor Baru Chinese Businessmen Association, Johor MCA assemblymen, Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Hussin Ismail and senior police officers.

The meeting was held after concerns from the Johor Baru Chinese community over a spate of violent crimes in the city, especially the robbery and gang rape of a 19-year-old girl by three suspects on June 11.

The Johor Government was promised an additional RM 330 million budget on the security aspect for the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), under 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP). This budget was originally for the inclusion and investment into technology, communications and sophisticated equipment under the C4I concept (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence), on top of slight increase in personnel to be deployed and improved the security and crime prevention monitoring programs. CCTV and telecommunications will be an important apparatus to assist ‘police’ the area.

However there has been a ‘shift’ from the original plan. It was said that someone within “The Level Four Boys” changed the original specs of the proposed technologically laden increased special budget on security to spending the RM 300 million into building four new police stations within the specified IDR area.

The crux of the matter is actually far different from what has been reported and perceived, especially from the build up of stories-onto-stories, about the increasing crime rate, especially in and around Johor Bahru. One senior police officer, ACP Amar Singh Sidhu did a deep analysis on the subject matter and how its been linked to the Malaysian Quality Life Index (MQLI).

This sudden outcry about “increasing” crime rates in and around Johor Bahru, is the new hyped-up gossip amongst the Singaporeans, who enjoyed sundry shopping and entertainment. So much talk has been invested on this issue. It was drummed up further, especially by the media. Of course, the media across the Johor Straits been harping on this for quite a while. In fact, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew caused a stir almost a diplomatic incidence in 1997 when he recklessly made a statement about the high Johor Bahru crime rate and it was deemed as an insult to the Johoreans.

He conveniently apologized later. This is an excerpt of his apology, as captured by The Economist magazine:

Lee Kuan Yew: an apology. (Singapore’s senior minister)(Asia)

From:The Economist (US)

Date:March 22, 1997

Lee apologized for referring to the Malaysian state of Johor Bahru as crime-ridden. His remark, never intended for the public, provided a vent for simmering resentment and political and commercial rivalry between the two nations.

MANY politicians agree with John Wayne’s cowboy: “Never apologise and never explain-it’s a sign of weakness.” Conversely, accepting an apology can be a sign of strength as well as magnanimity. All the better if the relationship is fraught with repressed resentment and rivalry. So Malaysia’s cabinet must have relished its meeting on March 19th, when it accepted …………..

However, the story did not end there. Recently, at the visit of Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Najib Tun Razak to the Island, questions about the crime rate re-appeared again and was portrayed as a ‘concern’ by the Singaporean media. The manner is were raised, almost tantamount to an insult. Considering that the Malaysian Government is embarking into a ultra-mega property development project with high technological and value added components and Singapore has been singled out as a very important ‘stakeholder’ in this exercise.

The truth is, this issue about getting the Singaporeans involved in a Joint Ministerial Committee on the development of the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) is not really crystal clear. It also sounded that the reciprocity is rather non-encouraging. On the other hand, it was mentioned and harped by the Malaysian media as if it was already carved in stone but the truth is far reaching.

This was a press statement issued by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, www.mfa.gov.sg, on the matter dated on Monday:

18/06/2007

MFA Spokesman’s Comments on recent Malaysian media reports on the Joint Ministerial Committee for the IDR to be set up between Singapore and Malaysia

–>

MFA SPOKESMAN’S COMMENTS


In response to press queries on recent Malaysian media reports on the Joint Ministerial Committee for the IDR to be set up between Singapore and Malaysia, the MFA Spokesman said:

“We have read the media reports. However we have not received any official notice from the Malaysian Government on the members of the Committee or the proposed Terms of Reference. We look forward to hearing from them and will study the proposed Terms of Reference once they have done so.”

So, on IDR, are we trying too hard, in fact far too much, to get the arrogant Singaporeans very much into it, where as they are non-chalant about the ultra-mega project and the deliverables?

Or have we allowed ourselves to be treated like cheap tarts and the laughing stock, together as a package?

Regardless, Opposition Leader YB Lim Kit Siang planned to hand over the “Memorandum on the rampant crime and lawlessness” in Johor Bahru to the Bukit Aman on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 at 1130hrs. This almost look like some people wants to take opportunity and earn political mileage on this issue.

Maybe stunts like these, will not bring back faith of the larger South Johoreans to the Police Force, especially the morale of the Police Force have been tested the past 2-3 years. And at the end of the day, positively help make the place a better city for everyone. Then again, the DAP had always tried to debunk the Police Force whenever they find a convenient opportunity to do so.

And Singaporeans, you better listen to your political masters and their bastard off spring and stay away from Johor Bahru!

 

* An update on the subject matter. This is what the Cabinet decided as of Wednesay 20 June 2007 morning, on a three prong solutions. One of it has been announced by Dato’ Dr. Chua Soi Lek on Monday.

Bernama has the story:

June 20, 2007 20:42 PM  

Three Immediate Measures To Fight Crime In Johor Baharu

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 (Bernama) — The Cabinet has approved three immediate measures to slash the crime rate in Johor Baharu, one of which is a RM6-million allocation for the police to lease shoplots to establish three new district police headquarters as soon as possible.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the other measures were deploying 400 more policemen in the Johor Baharu district by August and sending 200 more police patrol cars to Johor Baharu.

The Cabinet agreed that the three new district police headquarters should be set up immediately without having to wait for permanent buildings to be constructed, he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Service Training Department and Bank Negara’s Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency at the Defence Ministry, here.

The three district police headquarters are for Johor Baharu Timur, Nusa Jaya and Kulai.

Najib said the deployment of more policemen should be made as soon as possible. He was standing in for the Minister of Internal Security as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who holds the portfolio, is on a visit to Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Italy.

Yesterday, Johor Chief Police Officer Datuk Hussin Ismail told Johor MCA Liaison Committee Chairman Datuk Chua Soi Lek that 400 additional policemen would be deployed to several strategic areas in Johor Baharu soon to check crime and social ills.

On the additional patrol cars, Najib they should also have efficient and trained drivers so that the vehicles could be used to patrol more efficiently.

Najib wanted the police and the Ministry of Internal Security to take immediate measures to fight crime in Johor Baharu.

He said these immediate measures would be able to instil confidence in the community in Johor Baharu on the ability of the police to check the rising crime rate.

Claims by certain quarters on a rise in crime in Johor Baharu caused apprehension among the people of the city, forcing some groups of people to hold gatherings.

— BERNAMA

 

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 04:21  Comments (14)