Saturday, October 15, 2011
Johor police: We are in full control
by Teo Xuanwei
04:46 AM Oct 15, 2011
JOHOR BARU – Three weeks after a Malaysian politician reportedly made negative remarks about the crime situation in Johor, the police chief of the southern state has stepped out to stress that his department is in “full control”.
At a rare press conference yesterday morning on Johor’s crime rates attended by some 40 journalists – half of whom were from Singapore – Deputy Commissioner of Police Mokhtar Shariff spent almost 45 minutes presenting various statistics, such as a 25-per-cent drop in the total number of cases last year, as well as a steady decline in crimes against Singaporeans.
He said: “I must assure and reiterate and stress that the police is in full control of the crime situation in Johor. This, I believe, should eliminate all unfounded concerns and allegations on safety and security issues.”
Bernama news agency reported on Sept 23 that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had made comments to the foreign media, which reportedly implied that Singaporeans were more likely to be kidnapped in Johor than in Penang.
Mr Lim, the secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Action Party, subsequently apologised to the Sultan of Johor but maintained that his words were “misrepresented”.
Yesterday, Mr Mokhtar noted that there have been only two reported abductions of Singaporeans since 2008.
And out of the 14.1 million trips Singaporeans made across the Causeway last year, just 320 of those trips, or 0.002 per cent, met with crime in Johor. This ratio would be “deemed natural”, in his words, in any part of the world.
“The crimes were generally common in nature and not specifically aimed at Singaporeans. (The criminals) have an opportunity, they strike. They don’t look at race, religion, or nationality,” Mr Mokhtar said.
There were 386 cases of violent and property crimes committed against Singaporeans in 2008.
This rose to 413 in 2009, but plunged to 320 last year. For the first eight months of this year, there have been 230 such cases.
He stressed that the Johor police will strive not to allow even one Singaporean being hit by criminal activities, citing how 25 police posts, otherwise referred to as beat bases, have been set up in various areas in the city. There are also plans to boost the 8,300-strong force by another 800 officers to increase police presence.
Mr Mokhtar also revealed that street crimes – snatch thefts are a particular menace – have also plunged by 45 per cent in total from January to September this year. He added that 279 snatch thieves, which he labelled “monsters and parasites”, have been nabbed this year.
Even as the statistics point to an improving security situation, concerns over safety continue to linger among Singaporeans, due to sensational crimes making the headlines periodically.
In January, for instance, a millionaire businessman’s mistress, daughter and maid were kidnapped, allegedly by two Malaysians, outside a mini-mart in Johor Baru’s Permas Jaya township.
They were released less than two weeks later after the businessman paid a S$9 million ransom.
Singaporeans’ willingness to visit Johor have also been marred by other recent incidents.
A new fingerprinting immigration system in June caused massive traffic snares at the checkpoints – two Malaysian business associations reported a 30- to 50-per-cent fall in business.
There was also a controversy over two Singapore women allegedly made to do nude squats after they were arrested at the Malaysian checkpoint for allegedly entering the country without going through immigration checks.
Published: Friday October 14, 2011 MYT 4:26:00 PM
Johor police brief S’pore media over security
JOHOR BARU: Only 320 crimes involving Singaporeans were recorded in Johor last year. Most involved missing cars and motorcycles.
Since 2008, only two cases of abduction of Singaporeans were reported. About 14 million Singaporeans enter Johor for holidays, business and other matters annually.
Thus, any assumption that people fear to come to Johor is utterly baseless, said state police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff at a briefing of local and Singapore journalists of the crime situation.
He added that the negative perception of Johor’s crime rate had to be countered through frequent briefing sessions for media members from Singapore.
He said criminals do not select their victims based on nationality, race or religion but commit crime as and when they get the opportunity.
“We have put in place various strategies including increasing police intelligence, working with community policing groups, increasing raids, creating police beats and utilising the latest technology to clamp down on crime here,” he said.
He was responding to a remark made by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng about Johor’s security.
Police to brief public regularly on security in Johor
JOHOR BAHRU, Oct 14 (Bernama) — Johor police today briefed the media from Johor and Singapore on security in the Iskandar Malaysia development corridor, and promised more regular briefings for the media and foreign investors to dismiss any negative perception that Johor was an unsafe state.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said there was no basis to regard Johor as an unsafe state and gave the assurance that the police would redouble efforts to fight crime.
He said only two cases of abduction involving Singaporeans were recorded since 2008.
“Only 320 crimes involving Singaporeans were recorded last year, most of them associated with missing cars and motorcycles” he said, adding that the number was small compared to the 14 million arrivals in the state.
“Any assumption that people fear to come to Johor is utterly baseless,” he told reporters after the briefing.
Mohd Mokhtar said criminals do not select their victims based on nationality, race or religion but commit crime as and when they get the opportunity.
It is hoped that the briefings will provide a clear picture of the security situation in the state and instill confidence in potential tourists and foreign investors, he said.
He said the government had allocated RM500 million to step up security in Iskandar Malaysia through the setting up of several district police headquarters, increasing the number of patrol units and installing more closed circuit television cameras for monitoring.
Compare against this via simonthongwh:
A cousin, a Singaporean, came to visit his friend in JB and became a victim in JB’s SAFE STREETS!
I read your post in the face book about robbery in Ipoh Garden East on Lunar New Year Eve. I am not sure whether you know I was also a victim of robbery in Malaysia?
On 11th August last year (2011), I went to visit my friend and his family in Johor Bahru with my family members. We were robbed and attacked in front of my friend’s house at 11.30am. I shouted but no one dared to help except my friend. Because of my shouting, I was slashed with a parang on my right thigh just above the knee and my wife’s handbag was taken. I couldn’t walk for few months. Even now I am still limping and undergoing physiotherapy, (after more than 5 months).
Tell all your friends to keep cool if met with robbery. Just hand over their valuables quietly. DON”T SHOUT. No one dares to help. If they shout, they may be stabbed or slashed, which will be worse.
The Police are useless!!! Yes, you are right. They will just make statements, that it is very safe, crime rate is low and dropping, etc, etc!!!
About one month after my case, the Police Chief in Johor also said that Johor is very safe, to encourage Singaporeans to visit and shop in Johor Bahru! He said that in 2010 there were ONLY 320 cases of crime (or 0.002 % of total visits) involving Singaporeans.
He couldn’t even see the facts behind his own figures! It actually means that nearly every day a visiting Singaporean was robbed and if Malaysians were included, the figure would be very much higher!
He seems to be happy with the 0.002% figure. But for visitors and Malaysians, we would certainly expect a much better figure.
Although my wife made a police report that evening (I was in hospital undergoing emergency surgery), there was completely no news from the Police of our case till now.