Friday, July 13, 2012

Keeping Safe Is Everyone's Concern And Responsibility...

We're all so spooked now with new cases of snatch thefts and daylight robberies happening in places we had always thought to be safe - where we do our shopping and bring our families.

In the recent spate of cases, the victims were all women.

It's not just that these things have been happening far too often, but the way the crimes were committed -- vicious.

The level of violence that accompanied the crime is frightening -- in most cases the victims were either attacked viciously and later died, or left for dead.

 In a couple of cases, the victims escaped. In one, she survived a vicious attack.

So what do we do? We've got lots of advice from so many "experts".

Take martial arts, carry with you pepper spray, make sure you have your keys out before you enter your car, look around before you enter the parking area of the mall, shopping centre etc, make sure you don't park near a van.

In short, always be alert and stay safe.

Frankly, women have always been alert and always try to stay safe, in their car, in their home, in the mall.

But criminals commit their acts anywhere and everywhere to a point that we have been made to believe that "nowhere is safe" not even in our own homes.

That is a terrifying thought.  We feel that we are under siege.

A high-ranking police officer recently - in the wake of attacks in mall - advised women not to park their cars in dark places. 

"Stay away from dark areas" was his advice. 

Now, I'd like to tell him that women for a very long time now have been doing that. We stay away from dark and dangerous places.

In all those reported cases in the mall, the women were attacked in brightly-lit areas. 

Anyway, most everyone I talked to has a story to tell. A grim, gruesome story.

 I'd just like to share with you a column I wrote in the New Straits Times that was published on Saturday, June 16 2012.


SOMETIME in 1982, I was robbed and abducted in my own car at gunpoint by a man, somewhere in my neighbourhood of Section 16, Petaling Jaya.

Fortunately, I was unharmed only because the perpetrator just wanted my purse containing cash, and to get the hell out of the area. He dumped me, unwittingly, near my house.

 I was relieved but still shaken by the ordeal. The following day, the police found my grey Mazda 323 in a light industrial area near Section 13, Petaling Jaya, minus my work jacket and my Olivetti typewriter -- both items essential for my Parliament assignment. It was a crime waiting to happen in what was otherwise a safe neighbourhood.

The abduction (newspapers screamed "Reporter Abducted") took place about 9pm in front of a row of shops. The parking area was dimly lit but that never frightened me because there were always people around. That particular evening, though, it was quite desolate.

Since that episode, I decided to psyche myself at all levels. I consulted experts and read tonnes of material on crime prevention and on what you should do when you fall victim to robbery or sexual assault.
The advent of the phenomenal cell phone changed the way we live our lives. It was a useful tool. That telephone number of my neighbourhood police station has been stored in my cell phone since. Well, thank God for cell phones.

In a changing world, we continue to be confronted with new sets of problems. So my eagerness and interest never waned. When I posted on my Facebook a news item about 25-year-old Chin Xin Ci who was abducted by two men at the car park of the Curve Shopping Centre but fought them off and escaped, someone asked "can't the police do something about this?".

She was putting her shopping bags onto the rear seat of her car when one of the attackers slammed the door on her.

I understand the commenter's concern but the police cannot be at car parks of shopping complexes all the time. The police after all cannot be everywhere although that would be so ideal.
Ensuring a safe and secure environment is the job of the management of these establishments.


Anonymous said...

There was this lady. An executive. Tinggi standard lah konon. Not far from her condo, two minutes walk ada kedai mini market. But this executive nak jaga standard. She only go shopping at big stores. Nothing less than jusco or cold storage lah. Kedai runcit kecik tak masuklah.Mini mini market mak minah atau ah chong tak mainlah. So one day nak beli satu tin milo naik kereta pergi jusco. Di parking lot she was robbed. Kena samunlah. Kedai dekat ada. Tapi kedai dekat no standard one. Executive bodoh. Padan muka.

Anonymous said...

Two guys snatched my late mom’s purse in broad daylight somewhere in our neighbourhood. That moment occurred when she was 65 years old. I feel sorry a bit for those snatchers because their heart has long been dead (or their heart exists just for the sake of being a biological tool).

I don’t know what else to say when dealing with the dead heart except do whatever it takes to keep us safe and pray.

Anonymous said...

I think there must be something wrong in the way we teach, educate or instil the sense of compassion in our society.
In the 70s, we use to rear chicken for own consumption without having to worry of losing the whole flock in the hen-house, at night. We do not have iron grilles on our doors & windows, then.
In those days, we are not taught about religion in school, as much as today.

I suggest MOE re-look the way we teach our young children in primary schools.

In Malay. Here goes;

1). Seorang Guru menerangkan kepada murid-murid, 'Jangan mencuri. Di akhirat nanti, Allah akan potong tangan'. Mengajar cara begini adalah salah.
Kanak-kanak zaman sekarang sudah terdedah kepada berbagai cerita cartoon di TV. Mereka berkemungkinan besar menganggap ia sebagai perkara biasa lihat di TV, dan boleh disambung kembali.
Bukankah lebih sesuai dan berkesan jika Guru kata, 'Jangan ambil barang orang, tak baik. Kalau orang ambil barang kita, apa kita akan rasa?'
Dengan cara ini kita juga boleh mengajar anak2 kita berfikir secara critical.

2). Jangan ajar anak-anak kecil bahawa semua dosa akan terhapus bila kita mengerjakan Haji. Ini akan menyebabkan anak-anak berani melakukan dosa seperti mencuri. Kecil jadi pencuri. Bila besar boleh jadi peragut, menyamun & merompak. Bila dekat nak mati pergi haji, semua dosa boleh dibersihkan.

3). Jangan ajar anak-anak kecil bahawa Allah sedang menembak syaitan & iblis dengan kilat & petir. Buat malu agama Islam saja. (Anak saya Tkt.2 kata begitu. Apabila saya tanya anak2 yang lain, semua setuju kerana Ustazah mereka yang ajar)

4). Jangan ajar anak-anak mengenai 'akhir zaman' atau hari kiamat. Ini hanya sesuai di ajar di peringkat menengah, apabila mereka sudah mampu berfikir secara kritikal.
Contoh: Apabila kiamat, dunia akan hancur..>>> hancur sebesar mana, bumi & bulan saja kah? Lain-lain planet hancur juga kah? Cakerawala kita saja kah? Termasuk semua bintang-bintang di langit kah?

5). Memberus gigi adalah untuk membuang sisa makanan yang terlekat pada gigi selepas makan. Sisa makanan ini akan mereput dan jika tak dibersihkan dari celah gigi akan menyebabkan gigi rosak & bau mulut yang busuk.
Anak di sekolah di ajar: "Bangun pagi berus gigi". Cara ini SALAH.
Dengan cara ini anak-anak di ajar berus gigi untuk menghilangkan bau busuk mulut selepas bangun tidur. Jika kita berus gigi sebelum tidur, tiada lagi sisa makanan atau tahi gigi, mulut tidak akan bau busuk bila bangun tidur.
Cara yang betul: Berus gigi selepas makan atau Berus gigi sebelum tidur. Ajarlah anak cara ini terutamanya yang sudah salin gigi kekal. Nafas mereka akan bau segar & gigi tahan lama & tidak rosak.


bruno said...

Nuraina,what I am going to say will sure ruffled some more feathers from the blind and color blind political supporters from the ruling elite.

A company CEO bears the brunt of public anger and disgust when his company makes huge losses.But he reaped praises and the fruits of harvest when his company makes huge profits,with huge bonuses and other perks.

So when a country's security is at risk and failing,with cowboys running loose like in the sixties and seventies in Medan and Haadyai,who do we blame?The blind and color blind supporters of the politicians cronies,who cannot see the forest from the trees or their political masters?

InhumaneEconomics said...

The 1% who read NST or STAR dont understand the poverty of the 90%. You might see KLCC, Pavilion,or Mid Valley where Malaysians are happily shopping. Or even Sogo the Malay shopping Mall but what about the lowly paid workers.

Do NST readers knows that most Chinese, Japanese factories in Malaysia pay their worker less than RM600?!

The Government blithely state that RM3000 is poor. So what about RM600 earners? We close our mind, somehow these people will survive we thought a little guiltily.

Yes they survived and some survived by taking the easy way out. Taking from those who has more! No amount of policing can keep hunger away. No amount of Rela or military in the mall will keep envy away from those without.

No amount of ajaran di sekolah oleh MOE can keep human nature away when you dont have but the others have. What can I do to redress this inbalance?

When there is poverty of locals and immigrants workers these are the results. The Chinese capitalists happily reap their reward of the largest suppliers of condom or largest suppliers of oil palm, but what about the millions of workers scraping by at RM600 a month. These are hotbeds of discontents.

The cleaners contractors whined they will make a loss. They want to make a profit at the cost of other human misery, low wages.

But these humans will react by becoming snatch thieves or robbing. The low wage RM600 slave labour from overseas will enable capitalists to run their business with low cost but this means millions of locals are out of jobs!

And then we complain why are the locals are on drugs and becoming robbers or involved in cults.

So the solution is to provide jobs and industry where everyone can live comfortably. Less profit for the capitalists maybe but the locals will be invovled and earning decent wages.

Foreign workers must be stopped. Mustapha Mohamed proudly declared he is allowing 14,000 cheap labour to work in Johor Chinese furniture factories because they bring in 10 billions per year. Yes these Chinese furniture factories bring in billions but they bring in social problems too and they cut our forests down which is bad for the environment.

Profit at what cost? Can you deny that out of this 14,000 cheap labour some will definitely be involved in social problems?

So the next time your auntie or mother or sister is a snatched victim just remember that it is all inhumane economics which brought this down on ourselves!