Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Crime Watcher shot, banker killed; are Malaysia sliding to a state of lawlessness?

ANOTHER day, another shooting. It seems as if we are becoming as dangerous as some South American nations where gun violence seems to be the norm.

It’s just not confined to one or two areas but is happening across the nation.

Three shootings in two days. A 25-year-old man, Jasrafveendeerjeet Singh, was shot in front of a restaurant in Ipoh at 10.15pm. Another man, G. Santhana Samy, 30, was wounded in the thigh when he stopped at a traffic light in Butterworth at 8.30pm.

And in Kuala Lumpur, Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi died from multiple bullet wounds. He was shot in Lorong Ceylon while walking with his wife to his car in broad daylight.

These incidents followed the murder attempt of MyWatch chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan in Seremban on Saturday who was shot when his car stopped at the traffic lights.

The police response: the setting-up of yet another “high-powered” task force to investigate the crime. Actually, we have lost count of how many high-owered or high-level committees and task forces have been set up to investigate the various shooting crimes.

In fact, we are still waiting for some indication of the progress made by the task force set up in May to hunt down those responsible for the spate of shooting cases then, including the murder of Customs deputy director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim.

Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin had announced that the special CID task force, headed by Federal principal assistant director of Serious Crime (D9) Senior Asst Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed would identify and arrest the criminals.

At the same time, Penang police have also set up a separate task force to probe a series of shootings, which left at least four people dead over the past five months.

From seemingly ordinary Joes to prominent people being gunned down, the public can’t help but wonder whether we are on a rapid slide to a state of lawlessness. The sense of insecurity and nervousness is definitely growing.

Apart from gun-toting criminals, robbers are crashing restaurants to rob the patrons en masse.

Eateries that used to operate till the wee hours are now closing early; there are way fewer people who want to risk being robbed while having supper.

Even snatch thieves have grown more vicious and brazen. They do not just grab but often slash their victims to incapacitate them, making their getaway easier.

In such a state of affairs, we are almost relieved to read of cases where the “victim” is an ATM. The thieves who hack away and drag out these cash-vending machines seem almost harmless and preferable to those who prey on people.

Undoubtedly, the police have their hands full. Theirs is no easy task with no easy solutions. So far, they are focusing on identifying weapons smugglers to try to root out the source of gun-related crimes.

But more action and arrests are what is desperately needed because the ferocity and the increasing number of assassinations are striking fear in all of us.

Our top cops may continue to try to assure us that our nation is still very safe but unfortunately, that’s just not good enough.

- The Star Says

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