The cover stories of two international magazines in the past month should have given considerable food for thought for Malaysians to ponder as to what has happened to Malaysia, more than 100 days after the recent general elections and which is to celebrate our 56th National Day in eleven day’s time.
The first is the 20th July 2013 edition of The Economist “The Curious Case of the Fall in Crime”, reporting that “The rich world is seeing less and less crime, even in the face of high unemployment and economic stagnation”.
The Economist “briefing” article states:
Across the developed world, the crime wave that began in the 1950s is in broad retreat.
Both police records (which underestimate some types of crime) and surveys of victims (which should not, but are not as regularly available a source of data) show crime against the person and against property falling over the past ten years in most rich countries. In America the fall began around 1991; in Britain it began around 1995, though the murder rate followed only in the mid-2000s. In France, property crime rose until 2001—but it has fallen by a third since. Some crimes are all but disappearing. In 1997, some 400,000 cars were reported stolen in England and Wales: in 2012, just 86,000.
Cities have seen the greatest progress. The number of violent crimes has fallen by 32% since 1990 across America as a whole; in the biggest cities, it has fallen by 64%. In New York, the area around Times Square on 42nd Street, where pornographers once mingled with muggers, is now a family oriented tourist trap. On London’s housing estates, children play in concrete corridors once used by heroin addicts to shoot up. In Tallinn you can walk home from the theatre unmolested as late as you like.
While the debate is ongoing as to what is behind this spectacular and widespread improvement in the crime scene in the developed countries, what hit Malaysians in the face 100 days after the 13th General Elections and 11 days before the 56th National Day Celebrations is the worst crime situation in the nation’s history, with Malaysians suffering from the worst “fear of crime” in the country with the easy availability of firearms and the frequency of deadly firearm crimes.
What has gone wrong with Malaysia with the country reduced to such a state of lawlessness?
The second is the Time magazine cover story last week on “WE ARE AUSTRALIA: THE TRUE FACE OF THE LUCKY COUNTRY”.
Is it conceivable that Malaysia could have been the subject of national and international magazines in the past three months as “The True Face of the Lucky Country”?
This is totally inconceivable with the upsurge and escalation of unprecedented language and politics of hate and intolerance revolving particularly around race and religion, trying to negate the conventional belief that the diversity of the people, languages, cultures and religions in Malaysia is the country’s greatest asset rather than its greatest weakness.
More than a hundred days after the 13th general elections, and eleven days to the 56th National Day celebrations, Malaysians must ask when, and what Malaysians must do, for regional and international publications to front-page Malaysia for being a “lucky country” and being “low-crime country”.