Najib, police chief accused of ‘statistical sleight-of-hand’
S Pathmawathy | Dec 3, 08 6:30pm
Veteran opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang today asked all Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat MPs to come together to reject Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan’s explanation that the crime situation in the country was not as bad as people perceived it to be.
“Malaysians are shocked that the IGP is deadly serious with his ridiculous ploy to explain away the worsening crime index with a statistical sleight-of-hand by claiming that it is purely a problem of misperception by Malaysians, tourists and investors,” said Lim in the Parliament lobby.
“What is outrageous is that the cabinet and the National Economic Council (NEC) could be browbeaten so easily by the IGP on Monday to accept such a ridiculous ploy’, to the extent that this has been adopted as an official policy, as confirmed by the Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak two days ago,” he said.
According to Lim, the IGP had said that Malaysia was a relatively safe country, with only 772 crimes for every 100,000 Malaysians, compared to Hong Kong where there were 1,166 cases, Japan 1,569 cases and Australia with 4,470 cases for every 100,000 residents.
He added that the statistics showed that only Singapore, with 704 cases per 100,000 residents, had a safer environment.
Lim said the facts were “misleading and unacceptable” as crimes are categorised differently and had different definitions in different countries.
[b]"For instance, homicide per 100,000 population is 1.09 cases in Japan, 0.26 cases in Hong Kong but 2.12 in Malaysia.
“While rape, for every 100,000 citizens is 1.62 in Japan, 1.54 in Hong Kong while in Malaysia it is 11.47,” said Lim.
The Ipoh Timor MP added that robbery was at a shocking rate of 90.49 in Malaysia, while it was only 4.78 in Japan and 17.56 in Hong Kong for every 100,000 residents.
‘A magic wand to wave away crime’[/b]
Yesterday, Lim told reporters that five years ago when Prime Minister Abdullah Ahamd Badawi came to power, he had set up a royal police commission because crime rates were spiralling out of control.
"At that time, the royal police commission also came back with a report and underlined the severity and gravity of the crime situation which had increased to about 120,000 cases a year for three years and called for action to reduce crime.
"In these five years, the crime index has shot to 200,000 cases a year but we have the prime minister designate saying that the crime situation is not that bad compared to what the prime minister said five years ago.
“What the deputy prime minister has said goes against public sentiment because everybody feels unsafe. Instead of fighting crime he is trying to fight perception and he is trying to use a magic wand to wave away crime,” said Lim yesterday.
“It is a reflection of the intellectual inadequacy and poverty of the cabinet ministers and NEC members that they could be so easily bamboozled by the IGP with suspect statistics and data,” he said.
Lim questioned the irresponsibility of the IGP to mislead the cabinet by saying that Malaysia is safer than Japan and Hong Kong.
“If the ministers can so easily buy the bluff of the IGP, I challenge them to walk the streets of Johor Bharu and Kuala Lumpur for a day without protection. I am sure they would have no qualms about walking the streets of Tokyo and Hong Kong without protection for a day,” he exclaimed.
Lim also called upon MPs to demand that the police be accountable, responsible and transparent for the “galloping crime situation in the country (as) Malaysians, tourists and investors have lost their fundamental right to be free from crime and the fear of crime”.