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BU Walk The Talk Event Report

A Crime Prevention Awareness Walk was held on May 17th 2008 in Bandar Utama, organised by the BU6 Area Commitee. In attendance were:

  • Sivarasa Rasiah (Subang MP)
  • Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan ADUN)
  • Muhammat Sarip bin Siran (Police Chief, Damansara Police Station)
  • Jipa A/K Langob (Deputy Police Chief, Damansara Police Station)
  • Bandar Utama Residents Association (BURA) Committee Members
  • St. Johns Ambulance representatives
  • Bertam Security guards
  • Metro Security guards
  • 290+ Residents of Bandar Utama
  • A police helicopter

People started gathering at the BU3 Community Hall before 4 pm. Before the walk started, various VIPs gave speeches, summaries follow:

Sivarasa Rasiah

Sivarasa Rasiah

Sivarasa Rasiah (4.15 pm)
The police are in charge of safety, and nationwide we have 100,000 policemen. The best ratio of police to citizens is 1:250, and in our country we have 1:260 so it is not too far off. The real problem is deployment. I had asked in Parliament how many policemen are in the Special Branch, and was informed that the numbers cannot be divulged as they are under the Official Secrets Act.

One-third of the police are in administration, while another 20% are in ‘Public Order & Security’, the duties of which are not known to us. Roughly 7000 – 8000 officers are in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which only amounts to 8% of the force in total. Eight percent in charge of investigating crime.

Turning our communities into walled enclaves with guards is not the answer to crime. We want our police force to be deployed strategically to fight crime, not for political reasons.

Elizabeth Wong

Elizabeth Wong

Elizabeth Wong (4.20 pm)
I had met Tony Pua recently and spoken to him about the ongoing crime issue. He informed me that for the PJ area the ratio is 1:1800. I asked him how recruitment of new officers is coming along, and he replied that it was slow. 36% of the police force are in administration.

Someone I know personally in Damansara Jaya had a break-in at his home recently, so it is obvious that the robbers have merely shifted their targets away from Bandar Utama to nearby areas. We will continue to push for the IPCMC suggestions to be implemented.

I have spoken to the Mayor about the directive to remove the boom gates in Bandar Utama. He has assured me that MBPJ will not remove them for one month, in the meanwhile we will have a meeting to discuss further on the crime issues.

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran (4.30 pm)

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran

There are only 84 police officers to cover half a million citizens for the Damansara Police Station. Many neighbours don’t know each other and this makes it easier for burglars to break in. Many people also do not know the phone number for the police station, which is 03-77222222.

Dato Manpal

Dato Manpal

Dato’ Manpal, BURA Chairman (4.35 pm)
The purpose of this event is to foster collaboration between the police and the residents. We need to reduce the opportunity for criminals to break-in by implementing crime prevention measures. We have been too reliant on the police for protection, and recent events such as MBPJ’s directive to remove the boom gates have not helped matters.

The ratio of 1:4000 ~ 1:5000 for the area covered by the Damansara police is clearly inadequate. We need greater numbers of police to increase patrols in Bandar Utama and the surrounding areas.

The Walk (4.45 pm)

After the speeches were made, Jimmy Tan (BURA) instructed the crowd on how to perform warm-up exercises.

Jimmy Tan

Jimmy Tan

Then the security guards, St John’s Ambulance, police, VIPs and residents assembled and marched into the BU6 Area, some carrying banners with ‘Walk the Talk in Crime Prevention’ printed on them. It was hard to gauge the distance travelled but everyone was back at the hall in just under an hour. The VIPs, press and interested citizens then headed upstairs for a press conference.

The Press Conference (5.45 pm)

Dato’ Manpal pointed out that The Star, NST, Sinar Harian, Nanyang, China Press and Sin Chew Jit Poh were present for today’s event. He then went on to say that at least 289 people attended the Walk today which was quite a good turnout. Summaries of the other VIP’s press briefing follows:

Sivarasa Rasiah (5.52 pm)

The effectiveness of the police force has become a big issue, particularly in Klang Valley and Selangor where the crime rate is very high. Residents have been forced to hire guards and build walls, resulting in paying a double tax (regular tax to Government plus fees to the security companies).

The Prime Minister has said that the ideal ratio of police to citizens is 1:250. The ratio we have here of between 1:4000 and 1:5000 is quite disparate. We will continue to bring up this issue in Parliament, and the need for implementing the IPCMC suggestions.

It is clear that PDRM itself should have better facilities, pay and housing to make it more attractive for new officers to sign up. Their allocation for these things is not enough.

Elizabeth Wong (6 pm)

We need to look at the cause of the high crime rate – the high level of unemployment coupled with the migration of people from rural to urban areas has resulted in an increase of population beyond what was planned. This is a failure of town planning, and we need to look at allocation of land for the police. Local councils play an important role in helping to alleviate the situation we have now (Dato’ Manpal mentioned at this point that a police beat station is scheduled to be built in Bandar Utama).

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran (6.08 pm)

I have been here for 10 years, at a time when there was much less crime. There are far more residential areas today compared to that time, such as Bandar Utama, Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya and so on. Given that the police force stationed here is small, we hope there will be more cooperation from the residents in helping to be our eyes and ears to watch for suspicious activities.

Question & Answer Session

Q: What specific changes to the police are needed?

Sivarasa: The police force is imbalanced e.g. 33% are in Jabatan Keselamatan Awam. They should redeploy members from Special Branch into CID.

Last Sunday I was at a HINDRAF gathering at KLCC, and there were over 100 police and Special Branch officers. Why do they need such numbers to monitor us, when they could be out investigating crime?

Police are becoming documenters of crime, not investigators – this has led to citizens being reluctant to report crime. Their pay rate is also another issue; they should be compensated according to the risk they take.

Q: What about the relation between migrant workers and crime?

Sivarasa: This is a common misconception by the public – the fact is that only 1-1.5% of crimes are done by foreigners, as related to me by the Home Minister.

Q: I feel that responsibility for security lies with citizens, police and town councils. We should re-examine current laws because town councils are seen as impedance e.g. the boom-gate dismantling issue here in BU. Maybe we can use the Rukun Tetangga law? A lot of pressure should be applied by legislators to solve the police issue – why is that traffic roadblocks get ten officers, but crime investigation only two? We need to reduce this ratio.

Elizabeth: We are aware of what you have mentioned, in fact we have had a meeting between the ADUNs and Chief of Police on this and will continue to have discussions with them.

Sivarasa: We will push with the Inspector General of Police for reforms – look at Kayu Ara, where the crime rate is getting worse every day. The urgency for change is clear.

Q: Can we tap into FRU or Military Police for help in policing residential areas?

(No answer)

Q: I noticed more police stations being set up – are they going to dilute the police force in Damansara police station, or allocate more cops to this area to accommodate the new stations?

(No answer)

Read more for additional photos.

BU Security Guards

BU Security Guards

St Johns Ambulance Volunteers

St Johns Ambulance Volunteers

The crowd assembles for the walk

The crowd assembles for the walk

Security guards leading the walk

Security guards leading the walk

A police helicopter showed up for a bit

A police helicopter showed up for a bit

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Written by ak57

July 12, 2008 at 4:05 pm

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