The people of Johor Baru and Johore state should make full use of the public hearing of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights in Johor Baru on Sunday, 8th July 2007 to voice out their hopes and fears about the crime situation in the southern capital and state.
The 250% exceeding of the target of the 100,000-signature campaign launched by the Johor Baru Chung Hua Association for the restoration of safety, law and order in the Johore capital, with 350,000 signatures collected from all over the country, including online, from all races, religions, classes, gender and age group, illustrates the gravity of the problem of the crime situation in JB, Johore and Malaysia.
It is commendable that the top police leadership is showing serious response, with the visit of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan to Johor Baru yesterday and the Johore Chief Police Officer, Datuk Hussin Ismail himself going down to the “black areas” of crime in JB on night patrol.
There must be all-round determination that this time, the public revulsion against the high crime rate and rampant lawlessness in JB, must be a sustained and long-term commitment and not a short-term response to the public outcry. This is for the safety of all Malaysian citizens and their loved ones, tourists and investors.
The notoriety of JB as the capital of crime must be wiped out, and the self-deprecating and shameful definition that a person who had not been robbed is not a genuine resident of JB must be a thing of the past.
The Police should announce the “black areas” of crime in JB, Johore and the country which will enable the public to monitor the success of the police drive to turn them into “safe” crime-free and low-crime areas.
I hope the public hearing of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights in JB on July 8 can help to wipe out such a definition of a JB resident — a person who had been robbed at least once.
Johore Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Gani said yesterday that in the next two to four months, 1,274 new cops would be deployed to Johor Baru, improving the police-population ratio in Johor Baru from 1:1,500 to 1:650.
I had commented last week in reaction to the earlier announcement of an increase of 400 new cops to Johor Bahru that what JB needed is an immediate deployment of at least 1,000 more cops and not just 400.
I am glad that the Johore Mentri Besar has agreed with my assessment, although I am surprised by his figures of an improved police:policement ratio to 1:650 from the current 1:1,500 with an increase of 1,274 new cops by August.
At present there are 1,843 police personnel in Johor Baru with a population of 1,690,069 people or police:population ratio of 1:917 — made up of Johor Baru Selatan with a population of 1,159,079 and 1,159 cops or policemen:population ratio of 1:1,000 and Johor Baru Utara with a population of 530,990 and 684 cops or a policemen:population ratio of 1:776.
With an increase of 1,274 new cops to the 1,843 present police contingent in JB, the police:population ratio will be 1:542 or more than double the national policemen:population ratio of 1:275.
May be the Inspector-General of Police or the Johore Chief Police Officer can straighten out these confusing and conflicting figures of policemen-population ratio for JB at present and in a few months time when another 1,274 new cops are deployed to JB.
This is essential to establish the professionalism of the police, which has a bearing on public confidence in the police.