Johari-Police public spat – Abdullah must assume full responsibility as Internal Security Minister or relinquish post

Abdullah must assume full responsibility as Internal Security Minister or relinquish post

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi cannot just shout “Stop bickering” to the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Johari Baharum and the Police about the actual crime statistics in Sentul district, Kuala Lumpur but must assume full personal leadership and responsibility as Internal Security Minister to tell the nation the true facts about the runaway crime situation in the country or relinquish the key portfolio to a hands-on Minister.

On Saturday, Johari said the crime index in Sentul had risen by 82.2% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year. He also said snatch thefts shot up by 600%, making the highly populated area one of the most troubled spots in the city.

Three days later, Federal CID Director Comm Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee said snatch theft cases in Sentul had dropped by 142 cases or 36.6% in the first three months of this year. As such, the crime rate in Sentul for that period increased by only 10.1%.

On Wednesday, Johari countered that his figures were given to him by the police themselves and that he had not made them up or taken them from blogs.

Yesterday, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Najib Abdul Aziz came out in defence of Wan, saying that the CID Director’s numbers were accurate.

Najib said Wan’s crime figures “is the final, audited version” and that there is “no cover-up, no manipulation”, adding: “We have nothing to hide from the public”.

However, Najib said the conflicting figures could be due to the auditing process and re-classification of several case.

This is most ridiculous. Police credibility is not served with such a glib explanation. Can Najib explain how the reclassification of snatch-thefts could result in such a humongous difference between the 693.5% increase in the first three months in Sentul as stated by Johari in contrast to the drop of 36.6% for the same period as stated by Wan and the Police?

One version is not correct and either Johari or the Police is wrong. Why is Abdullah as the Internal Security Minister unable to publicly declare which version is correct, or whether both versions are wrong?

Or is it too difficult and complex for Abdullah to ascertain the true situation?

Johari had made two very serious allegations – firstly, that the Police had “manipulated the crime rate figures to confuse the public”; and secondly, that he “feared that the Prime Minister may have also been given the wrong figures”.

If the Opposition had made the allegation that the Prime Minister had been misled by the Police on crime statistics, it could be dismissed as hearsay; but when such an allegation comes from the Deputy Internal Security Minister who is the de facto Police Minister on day-to-day operations, the Prime Minister cannot ignore it but must clear the air. He must say whether his deputy minister is right or wrong in the latter’s suspicions about police misinformation.

Public credibility and confidence in the Abdullah premiership will suffer an irreparable blow if his response to the public spat between Johari and the Police is only to order both to get out of the ring and disappear from public limelight.

In fact, Abdullah himself cannot stay outside the ring but must enter the picture as he is not only the Prime Minister but the Internal Security Minister to tell the nation the true facts about the runaway crime situation in the country.

When he became Prime Minister in October 2003, one of his top priorities was to reduce crime to restore to Malaysians their fundamental right to be free from crime and the fear of crime, whether in the streets, public places or the privacy of their homes. Today, Malaysians feel even more unsafe from crime than when he became Prime Minister some 42 months ago.

The Royal Police Commission in May 2005 had recommended as immediate Police target a minimum of 20 per cent decrease in the number of crimes committed for each category within 12 months of its Report — i.e. by May 2006. The Police on its part had the target of reducing the crime index by five per cent each year. Have both targets been achieved under Abdullah?

The reverse has actually taken place. The crime index in the country has worsened in the 42 months Abdullah was Prime Minister from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 226,836 cases in 2006 — a sharp rise of 45.1% in the past three years.

In the past three years, violent crime had skyrocketed by 85.8 per cent from 22,790 cases in 2003 to 42,343 cases in 2006, with rape cases registering the highest increase of 65.5 per cent — reaching an average of 6.7 women raped daily in 2006 compared to an average of four women raped daily in 2003. In 2003, an average of 1.5 persons were murdered daily; but in 2006, this has increased to an average of 1.65 persons murdered daily.

The public spat between Johari and the Police, and the failure of Abdullah to step in to assume leadership and responsibility for effective policing in the country to keep crime low and Malaysians, visitors and foreign investors safe and secure will only compound public loss of confidence in the efficiency, effectiveness and good governance of the Abdullah premiership.

Abdullah should stop dilly-dally as Internal Security Minister. Either assume full responsibility as Internal Security Minister or he should relinquish this important Ministerial portfolio to someone who could be a hands-on Miinister and not just delegate to a Deputy Minister to be a de facto Police Minister who clearly has lost the confidence, support and respect of the Police.

Either Abdullah give full support to Johari as his Deputy Minister and vindicate his deputy’s statements and actions or he would have to look for a new Deputy Internal Security Minister.

  1. #1 by smeagroo on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 1:38 pm

    As usual when it comes to statistics, the govt will always be wrong same as the NEP %.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 1:39 pm

    This nonsense in having two different sets of figures is like the NEP–one set claiming it is only 18.6% while the other set says it is already 45%. Looks like Johari, like his boss, also failed his stats paper in university.

  3. #3 by lakshy on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 2:15 pm

    The Immigration dept also falls under the home minister AAB right? The recent fiasco of the building suffering a burst pipe is surely an embarassment to the HM and nation.

    The NST today (pg11) shows a picture of the joint which gave way. Its clear that its a plastic pipe, and for it to fail in the way it did would indicate a failure. For Putrajaya’s senior manager to say that the failure is “due to lack of maintenance and not shoddy workmanship or poor installation of water pipes”, would be a definite stretch of the truth. Who is he trying to protect?

    Firstly, what routine maintenance works can you conduct on a pipeline that has been completed, and in this case looks like a glued joint?

    Do any of you do maintenance on the pipelines in your homes or offices? I dont think so. Any leak will be attended to. Thats about it. And when the flowrate starts to slowdown, then its time to replace the pipes.

    For this pipe to fail, one would suspect, the reasons to be
    a) improper installation resulting in high stress to the joint that eventually failed
    b) use of improper schedule pipe for the application
    c) use of improper joint
    d) use of improper jointing material (glue)
    e) operating the pipe under higher than the designed pressure
    f) improper supports for the pipe which lead higher stresses and eventual failure.
    g) etc

    All of these would point more to mistakes in installation and material selection rather than maintenance.

    By the way I did make such a mistake on one of my projects and had some joints come popping out.

  4. #4 by HJ Angus on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 2:32 pm

    I agree with your points on pipe maintenance.

    I don’t think the glue failed as the pipe broke after the joint so it was not a joint failure.

    They mentioned loud noises in the pipeline so it seems there could have been water-hammer in the system and that could cause the pipe to fail.
    Now they talk about the high cycle of the pump – wonder why the operations people did not do something about that?

    I also had a major design failure once – constructing reinforced concrete holding tanks for effluent treatment even though I knew nothing about rc structure design. Luckily no one got hurt.

    But the usual thing about such big projects – eventually the work on the ground gets done by one man and two labourers and the latter usually know nuts about fittings. They just did the new pipes for water supply outside my house.
    The machine to tunnel the pipes for jointing was interesting but when the job was done the area outside my house was a mess.

  5. #5 by pongsakling on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 6:20 pm

    Well, someone please teach our bodoh minister to do calculation.
    Start with 10% + 10% = 80% ?????????? errrr how to calculate in %?????

  6. #6 by japankiller on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 7:07 pm

    Funny news, you hardly see this type of nonsense in the foreign news paper, but it almost happen oftenly in Malaysia.

    Inteads wasting their time keep arguing with just a number, where most of the people dont really care what the hell, please please please put your effort on how to solve or reduce the crime, not the time spend to speak to the journalist and talking nothing.

    nak ambil gaji buta ke?

  7. #7 by akarmalaysian on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 8:04 pm

    wats thr to argue abt those figures concerning crime?just add the 2 statistics and divide it into half…thats the figure the police hv to sort out together in fighting and reducing crimes.the same goes for u pak lah…u dun need to ask those two to quiet down in the newspapers…look whos making the noise in the newspapers now?sort it out closed doors as u wud usually advise them..u dun even hv to comment anything in the newspapers…. rightfully dats how it shud be done……..righttttttttt?

  8. #8 by bbtan on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 8:11 pm

    “nak ambil gaji buta ke?” This question should be directed to Mr Clean as he is THE minister and he dosen”t seem to do anything in the ministery.

  9. #9 by toyolbuster on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 12:56 am

    Lucky for us Malaysians we have the millions of braindrain into the 4 corners of earth cos otherwise the whole world would think we malaysians are all morons like our PM leading by example.

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 1:50 am

    “Najib” is the Deputy IGP. Not Najib the Deputy PM.

  11. #11 by grace on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 11:41 am

    I doubt Pak Lah, with his level of mathematical skill, can fathom the mind boggling statistics given to him. Thus no further is definitely coming from him.
    The only thing he can do is to ask them to shut up or his famous answer is “I am not aware of it”.

    If you were to observe him giving speeches, he does not have the confidence TDM has. He keeps on reading from the text (doubtful he understood what he is readin) to look up once in a while!

  12. #12 by izrafeil on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 12:51 pm

    mana janji pak lah nak tangkap ikan ikan besar ! yg kena & reported semua ikan2 kecik! ikan besar ni susschah nak tangkap ke?

  13. #13 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 8:49 pm

    ““Najib” is the Deputy IGP. Not Najib the Deputy PM.”

    For someone holding a post that is not democratically elected by the people and one that is not provided for under the Federal Constitution, as deputy to the Prime Minister, Najib should confine himself to administratively assisting his boss, the Prime Minister.

    He has no business in micromanaging any Ministry.

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