Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Archive for May 2008

Bandar Utama Meets The OCPD

The rising crime rate in Bandar Utama these past few weeks has the residents worried. Thanks to the efforts of Bandar Utama Residents Association (BURA) members, Lim See Meng and Dr. Tok, a meeting was quickly arranged with OCPD Arjunaidi (Police Chief of Petaling Jaya) and CID Chief Mazlan Mansor.

It was hoped that during this meeting the police would be able to provide some reassurance to the residents that steps were being taken to improve their safety, as well as advise us on ways to improve our safety.

The meeting took place between 10pm – 12.30 am at Starbucks Centrepoint on 2nd May 2008. In attendance were:

  1. OCPD Asst. Comm. Arjunaidi
  2. CID Chief Mazlan Mansor
  3. Elizabeth Wong (ADUN – Bkt Lanjan)
  4. Dato’ Manpal Singh (BURA Chairman)
  5. Lim See Meng (BURA Deputy Chairman)
  6. Various BURA Committee Members
  7. Various BURA Area Committee Members
  8. Bandar Utama residents, including victims of recent break-ins

After a brief introduction by Dato’ Manpal, Arjunaidi stated that the police are aware of the snatch thefts and break-ins and are trying to have more patrols in the area. He suggested keeping the police station number close at hand to call immediately if residents see anything suspicious.

Questions, Observations by Residents & Arjunaidi’s Answers

Q1: During the time the robberies occurred people are inside the home, and not aware of what is going on outside. Either that or they are not at home. They are therefore unable to observe suspicious goings-on.

A1: Residents should get to know their neighbours to differentiate non-locals.

Q2: What are the police doing to identify and catch these gangs? (A five-man Chinese gang has already been identified as the major criminal group in the area)

A2: It is difficult to identify all the criminals involved.

Q2 (follow up): You should enforce harsher punishments, not jail them for six months and release them. Is there an information network that you are tapping into?

A2: Yes, but obviously we cannot inform you further on that. How we solve crimes is for us to know.

Q3: You should have road blocks, working together with the security guards as a deterrent. It shows the police presence in the area. (Elizabeth Wong also commented at this point that robbers have the perception that the police are weak)

A3: We will consider the road blocks, and study where best to put them. However working together with your security guards presents legal issues as they are not empowered to stop vehicles on the road.

Q4: What about a barricaded community with card access? This will prevent the robbers’ scouts from coming in.

A4: It is illegal to do so, because Bandar Utama is not a gated community. (Dato’ Manpal interjected at this point to say that 100% approval by the residents is needed to get gated community status, this is due to MPPJ law. Any attempts to barricade without approval will result in MPPJ demolishing them)

Q5: Johor has faced worse crime problems than us. Maybe the police and MPPJ can get advice from them on what measures proved effective?

A5: We will look into that.

Mazlan’s Comments
CID Chief Mazlan explained that the role of the system is to catch robbers, but we can only hold them so long after which they go back to the street. Moreover the time allowed to investigate individual crimes is too short. He then added that it was not right for the police to be questioned on how they work, and they had come to this meeting to discuss crime prevention.

Having said that he got up to leave, whereupon the meeting quickly dissolved.

Personal thoughts
Overall I felt this meeting did not turn out as well as it could, due to a number of factors:

1. Arjunaidi being the most soft-spoken man in the world
I refuse to believe that he got where he was speaking in such a manner, it was only after the meeting did I realise that he spoke that way on purpose. By limiting the range at which his voice could be heard, only the ADUN and a few BURA Committee members could hear him, thereby protecting him from any backlash from residents (and making this reporter’s life very difficult ;)) .

Arjunaidi is a very smart man.

2. The choice of Starbucks as the venue
Starbucks did not seem like the right choice for a meeting with a crowd of 20-odd people. It was noisy and the armchairs further distanced us from each other. Other than the aforementioned people next to the OCPD, the rest of us were left in the dark as to what was going on. It was almost like the majority of the crowd was eavesdropping on a private conversation between the ADUN, OCPD, CID Chief and four BURA members.

I must give kudos to the BURA Chairman for announcing what was mentioned by the OCPD at periodic intervals, so we were not completely lost. Thank you, sir.

3. No timeline or commitment by the police
Answers such as ‘we will look into it’, and so on are fine if a follow-up date is established. Without that the meeting resulted in a lot of ideas and no decisions. If I was a victim I would have wanted the police to make strong assurances such as ‘we will increase patrols within the week’.

Written by ak57

May 28, 2008 at 12:34 am

A Long Absence

Time sure flies doesn’t it? I can’t believe I haven’t made time to update this site in almost two months. So many news stories not followed 😦 My Malaysiakini account expired and I can no longer afford to top up – back to NST and Star being my sole news sources.

I have plenty of reports written down, just need time to compile them nicely and put up here. Expect more updates in the next few days.

Written by ak57

May 28, 2008 at 12:00 am

Posted in Personal