Archive for June 22nd, 2007

Politicians and Public Focus on JB Crime

June 22, 07

Lots of discussion on the Jb crime problem has emerged, along with news reports. I’m surprised not many letters to the papers have emerged, though.

For the first news report below, the ratio of police to civilians is given as 1 : 3000, when the ideal ratio should be 1 : 250.

This quoted ideal ratio is very close to the actual current ratio of police to probable criminals calculated in my post Ratio of Johor Police to Potential Male Criminals. I reached a ratio of 1 : 282.


From The Star 22 June 2007:

Do more to tackle crime

JOHOR BARU: Community leaders welcomed the Cabinet’s directive to place more policemen and patrol cars in the city but said more needed to be done to combat the recent spate of crime. 

Johor Jaya assemblyman Tan Cher Puk, whose constituency is a crime-prone area, said he had received many calls from people who had expressed their happiness over the directive. 

“However, more should be done in the long-term to combat crime. In Masai and Johor Jaya, the ratio of police to civilians is about 1:3,000. The ideal ratio is 1:250. 

“So the new district police headquarters planned for the area is very much needed,” he said. 

On Wednesday, the Cabinet asked the police to deploy 400 more policemen and 200 more police vehicles on the streets of Johor Baru. 

State DAP chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau, who works in Skudai, said Johor had the second highest crime rate in the country but the second lowest police manpower ratio. 

Kempas state assemblyman Osman Sapian said the elected representatives in the state were embarrassed that police were acting only after the public started protesting. 

“The increase of 400 personnel is not enough. The number should be doubled to make the situation ‘more comfortable’ as the city has a population of about one million,” he said. 

Mengkibol state assemblyman Gan Ping Sieu called on the police to be more transparent with crime statistics and conduct daily press conferences on cases of high interest. 

“The police should also share details on the crime rate, the type of cases, crime-prone areas and the general modus operandi of criminals with the public,” he added.  


From The Star 22 June 2007:

Crime the main issue at Johor assembly

JOHOR BARU: Public safety and crime continued to be the focus in the Johor State Assembly yesterday, along with suggestions to impose stiffer penalties for snatch thefts. 

Even during the assembly’s 20-minute recess, many representatives were heard discussing the crime situation as they flipped through the newspapers. 

Earlier, Senai state assemblyman Chun Yoon Fook suggested that snatch theft be made a non bailable offence and be punished with mandatory whipping and longer jail sentences. 

“Heavier punishment will hopefully make the criminals reluctant to commit these crimes,” he said. 

Chun said that unlike armed robbery, which was seen as a serious offence, people still viewed snatch theft as a petty crime. 

“Many people complain that arrested suspects are seen on the streets again after a few days as they manage to raise bail,” he said, adding that the crime situation had become “critical” in the state.  

Meanwhile, Tangkak assemblyman Yap Chik Dong proposed that the Territorial Army units be deployed to support and help the police in crime prevention. 

He said the shortage of manpower in the police force had given criminals a free rein in the state. 

On another matter, Johor Lama state assembly representative Asiah Md Ariff suggested that both parents be punished in the cases of babies being abandoned, instead of just the child’s mother facing the rap by herself. 

“Under the Penal Code now, only the mother of the baby faces a 20-year jail term for abandoning a baby. This is not fair. 

“The father should also face similar punishment,” she said in her speech.  

She claimed that the state had the second-highest number of abandoned newborn babies and blamed the situation on deteriorating moral values among the youth. 


From The Star 22 June 2007:

118,000 signatures collected within a week

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru Tiong Hua Federation collected 118,000 signatures for a petition protesting against the rising crime rate in the city in less than a week. 

The federation’s manager, Eric Ku, said 70,000 of the signatures were collected online, with half of it coming from non-Johor Baru residents. 

“We received very good support from the Chinese associations in Malacca and Negri Sembilan,” said Ku, adding that they would stop the campaign on Sunday. The public can support of the petition at www. or at the federation’s office in Wisma Tiong-Hua in Taman Sri Tebrau. 

“Some people have taken the initiative to photocopy our forms and place them at shop counters, so that others can sign the petition too.  

“Those with enquiries can reach me at 07-2788 999 or 07-2788 899,” Ku said. 

He reminded the public that the federation had not held any public demonstration except for the dialogue between the police and state assemblymen in their building. 

“If you get any SMS or e-mail linking any public demonstration to us, it is not true. We do things the peaceful way,” he said.  

Repulse and Prince of Wales

June 22, 07

I’m sure you remember reading in our Sejarah (history) books about how the British in Malaya were soundly trounced by the invading Japanese during World War II.

I for one remember clearly the two catchy names of Repulse and Prince of Wales. These were the two British ships sunk by the Japanese in a brief engagement.

If I recall correctly, the way the loss of those two ships is portrayed in the Sejarah text and reference books makes it seem like the British were overconfident, woefully unprepared, and weakling wimps in the face of Japanese military might.

This of course fits in perfectly with the unstated agenda of the chapters on the Japanese invasion of Malaya, i.e. To show up the British colonial masters as not invincible and capable of being humiliatingly defeated by Asians.

Thus, during my years in Secondary school, Repulse and Prince of Wales were mentioned with at least a hint of ridicule and humour.

But looking closely at what actually happened in that encounter, beyond the few shallow paragraphs of the nuanced Malaysian textbooks I found much in defense of the two ill-fated ships of the Royal Navy.


                                            HMS Repulse


                                     HMS Prince of Wales

FIRST, before Repulse and Prince of Wales engaged the Japanese aircraft, no capital ship at sea had ever been sunk by air attack. The largest ship to have yet been sunk by air power was a heavy cruiser . That a battlecruiser could be sunk solely by aerial attack was unthinkable and unproven.

Remember that it was only after Pearl Harbour and Midway that aircraft carriers came to dominate the seas. And it happens that the day of the Japanese attack on Repulse and Prince of Wales was the same day that they devastated Pearl Harbour.

SECOND, the two ships managed to last pretty long against the Japanese bombardment.

The World War I veteran Repulse survived a direct bomb hit, dodged 19 torpedoes, and fought on for 20 minutes before she was finally sunk by 5 torpedo hits. Repulse had not been fitted with anti-torpedo blisters that her sister ship Renown had receieved, which hastened her sinking.

The new World War II ship Prince of Wales on the other hand went into battle with a non-functioning radar. While being fitted out for combat in Britian, she was damaged by German bombers before she was even ready to go.

In the Japanese engagement, she was disabled by a lucky torpedo strike early in the battle. The propellor shaft was forced into the hull, causing severe flooding, disabling the rudder and cutting power to the 5.25 inch guns. She became a sitting and gunless duck.

Two more torpedos hit her weakest section – an area damaged by the German bombing that was never completely repaired. In total, Prince of Wales took 6 torpedos and 1 bomb before sinking.

The air support assigned to cover Force Z arrived just as the Prince of Wales sank.

THIRD, Repulse and Prince of Wales were not the only British ships in the region of Malaya. The Sejarah text gives the distinct impression that the British had only these two ships to defend the entire of the Straits.

Four destroyers – Electra, Express, Tenedos, and Vampire were assigned to accompany them in their attempt to intercept the Japanese. Together, they were known as Force Z.

An aircraft carrier, the Indomitable was meant to join the Force, but it ran aground in Jamaica during trials and thus needed repair. Imagine how things might have been different had Force Z met the Japanese with their own planes…

After Repulse and Prince of Wales had been sunk, the Electra, Vampire and express moved to rescue the surviors.

FOURTH, the ships had previous proven their combat worth in naval engagements. During World War I, Repulse briefly engaged two German battleships.

Prince of Wales scored three hits on the legendary German battleship Bismarck , damaging one of Bismarck’s fuel tanks before retreating after 7 large-calibre hits from Bismarck and a German heavy cruiser . She was also the ship that carried Winston Churchill across the Atlantic to meet Franklin Roosevelt and sign the Atlantic Charter.

In the battle off the coast of Malaya, three Japanese aircraft were shot down. Of the 49 torpedoes the Japanese launched, only 11 struck the ships. For more on the history and sinking of these two fine ships, see HMS Repulse, HMS Prince of Wales and Sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse.

FIFTH, it must be remembered who the sailors were, and who they died for. The sailors manning the Repulse and Prince of Wales were British, sent to fight a lopsided engagement in defense of Malayan civilians. Just like the Vietnam War , ‘foreign Western militaristic imperialists’ died in order that we may live.

And we repay their valiant sacrifice with mocking and belittling textbook accounts. How truly Malaysian of us.

Submachine Gun Cops to Do Rounds

June 22, 07

It almost makes one hopeful that things will really change for the better here in JB. The cynical pessimistic pragmatic realist in me says, the criminals will just lie low until the enthusiasm of the police wanes again.

And if the Rambo cops turn out to be only effective during the day, well, the Government might as well hire me to walk around town with a broom hande – ‘cos I’d have the same effect on the crimes which take place mostly during dark!

On the other hand, the Personal Murphy’s Lawyer in me says that Johor will become liveably safe just around the time I move out of here.


From The Star 22 June 2007:

Show of force in JB

JOHOR BARU: Policemen will be out in strength on the streets of this city, making themselves highly visible to keep crime down. 

Starting tomorrow, more than 300 policemen will take over the policing of crime-prone areas in the district. 

A total of 160 General Operations Force (GOF) personnel will join the 150 men from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU), who have already started their tour of duty in the city. 

Dressed in general duty uniform (navy blue), the GOF men will go on crime-prevention rounds in teams of three armed with submachine guns, and also help in the manning of roadblocks. 

GOF Fifth Battalion operations officer ASP Wan Tien Kwang (right) briefing his men at their base in Simpang Renggam, Johor. More than 300 policemen will take over the policing of crime-prone areas in Johor Baru district from Saturday. — ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The Star

State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Hussin Ismail said the number of patrol cars on the roads has also been increased by more than a third – to 93 from the previous 68.  

The additional cars are already patrolling in the Johor Baru (North) and Johor Baru (South) districts. 

DCP Hussin said the 160 GOF personnel would set up two district police headquarters in Nusajaya and Seri Alam, which would temporarily be housed in shoplots. 

“The 300-plus men (from GOF and FRU) will be divided between Nusajaya and Seri Alam.  

Armoury personnel L/Korp Yusop Salleh handing out arms to his colleagues from the GOF’s Fifth Battalion at their base in Simpang Renggam, Johor, Thursday.

“For example, under Seri Alam, there will be a total of 11 police stations. Four are already operational while another four will be opened soon. The extra men will be based at these stations,” he said. 

DCP Hussin added that the GOF personnel would serve in the city until the end of the year, when a fresh batch of police trainees would have finished their training. 

“There are currently 400 in training, who will graduate by the end of the year. But I cannot wait, and the IGP (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan) has agreed to source personnel from the GOF as an interim measure,” he added. 

GOF Fifth Battalion commanding officer Supt Md Rusli Mat Junus said his men would start work in Johor Baru tomorrow evening. 

“We will be helping out with crime prevention, including patrolling and helping out with roadblocks. My men will be armed, and they will patrol GOF style, in teams of three. 

“It will be up to the OCPDs (of Johor Baru North and Johor Baru South) to decide which areas to deploy my men,” he added.  


From The Star 22 June 2007:

JB residents glad to have more cops in their area

JOHOR BARU: His house has been broken into twice and even his 11-year-old son had been held up when robbers raided his tuition teacher’s house. 

So when businessman Teh Kee Sin heard about the Cabinet’s directive to increase policemen in the city, he breathed a sigh of relief. 

“They should send out the army too,” he said. 

Teh said many residents were living in fear, as anyone could be the next victim of crime. 

“It is very worrying. It makes us very fearful. Even to go to the car porch, my son carries an umbrella or a golf club. He was traumatised after the robbery last year. I am sure other crime victims are, too,” he said.  

Teh, who is also the Southern Johor Small and Medium Industries Association president, said potential investors were sceptical about venturing into Johor Baru due to its reputation as a hotspot for crime. 

“Businessmen, especially those from Singapore and abroad, tell me that unless we solve the crime issue they are not too keen on investing here,” he said. 

Some resident associations have resorted to hiring guards to protect their homes. In Serene Park, six guards patrol the neighbourhood on motorcycles from 9pm daily. 

Serene Park Neighbourhood Watch committee chairman Raymond Koh said it was impossible to expect the police to watch over every area in the city 24 hours a day. 

“We have had very good success in keeping crime in check through our patrols. If our guards see any suspicious characters, they do not confront them, but alert the police immediately,” he said, adding that the police always responded quickly. 

“The system works for us and is worth the money spent,” he said.

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