Crime in KL - Enough is enough
Two incidents of crime that I have encountered over the past couple of days via social networks have gotten me really concerned. I say this as someone who has a mother, two sisters, a teenage niece and many friends out there whose lives appear to be constantly at threat just for living their own lives.
Picture taken from freefotouk on Flickr under the Creative Common License.
I also write this as a concerned Malaysian who have read and heard one story too many – involving people I don’t know and many others who I do – about their encounters with criminals who appear not to have any problems hurting people to get what they want. It’s a scary world that we live in now, and something must be done to stop this.
The two incidents I am speaking about can be found here and here so I won’t go too much into them. The accounts are scary – the first of an attempted abduction of a young woman at The Curve (she managed to escape, luckily) and the harassment on the road of my friend, the former Miss Malaysia Lina Teoh. Just last month, another friend of mine almost got carjacked.
And these stories are just recent ones, and ones of people I know. There has been many other stories in the papers as well of course. Then there was the snatch theft incident involving my own mother just up the street from where we live a couple of years ago. Or just last year when my sister has robbers in her house at knife point.
I am writing this note to remind everyone – not just women – to be careful. You can’t be too safe anymore. When my nephew and niece were younger, I used to tell my sister that she spoilt them by not letting them walk to and home from school, or take the school bus or leave them on their own. I rolled my eyes at her when she said that times have changed from when we were growing up. I now realise that she is right and I was wrong.
Back then, even in primary school, I was taking public buses home on my own. My friends and I would stay back at school and walk to different places in PJ for lunch unescorted. When we wanted to watch a movie or go bowling, we would either take a bus or have our parents drop us off somewhere. In the evenings, my friends and I would just cycle in a carefree manner and almost no one flinched.
The reality though, is that these things were happening back then too but yet we didn’t feel that unsafe. We just lived in a time when we heard less of these things, or when these criminals were less brazen.
Because when I think back about my childhood, I had been mugged three times. Once was at the old Klang Bus Stand where Pasar Seni LRT is now located, once more was an attempted mugging (with threats) at the old KL Palaza (now Fahrenheit 88) and when I was walking to a comic store in Subang Jaya.
Still, for many years, I didn’t feel unsafe. Now, even though I live so far away, I am worried for everyone back home.
So what can we do? Being careful is not enough. Yes, everyone needs to be careful, vigilant at all times but we really shouldn’t be expected to live a lifetime of fear. I refuse to accept the fact that such lawlessness can happen so easily, and so often, in Malaysia.
If we need to hold ourselves accountable (in taking care of ourselves, and our friends – including not letting people walk in quiet secluded areas alone), then we need to also hold everyone else accountable.
This includes our elected representatives, private corporations (I still remember how BSC was swarming with security guards after the Canny Ong incident – security cameras alone are not enough), the Police Department and more. We cannot anymore accept statements that all is well and crime rates are going down. Even if they really are, it is not good enough – every single incident like these, even the ones where the victims manage to get away, that happens is a tragedy.
I’m sure that are many reasons why these criminals resort to these activities but one of them surely has to be because they think they can get away with it.
Enough is enough.
12.47am Greenwich Meridian Time