Police personnel watching traffic go by in Dun Bandar, Kuala Terengganu (all pics by Lainie Yeoh)
I AM amazed how the police sometimes have so many personnel for certain events. I refer to the current Kuala Terengganu by-election. Besides truckloads of police personnel, there is even a chopper flying.
A few days ago, a baby girl of hardly one was raped. Not only I was shocked by such a disgusting and cruel act, I was even more shocked that there was no public outcry.
Why? I can only presume that such things are normal here in Malaysia and commonly heard so that it does not shock the average Malaysian. If a baby was raped in a foreign country, there would be such a public outcry.
The police should concentrate on patrolling neighbourhoods as crime is so rampant. Residents are so scared to even come out of the house nowadays. When we do, say to throw out the rubbish, we have this fear in us, a fear that should never be in any person, especially, a person living in a supposedly safe country.
Police personnel inspecting cars and drivers in Kuala Terengganu
Ask anybody and they can relate to you how an old amama or appapa had their gold chain pulled from their neck whilst throwing their rubbish outside their gate. And because of their injuries, they either died or were paralysed.
Children cannot even go out to play. Unlike our days when we were young, children cannot climb trees or play guli or gasing. They sit at home playing Nintendo Wii or Playstation 3. Why? One of the main reasons is that parents, out of fear, do not allow their children to go beyond the gate.
The situation is so bad, not only robberies and thefts happen in neighbourhoods, sex perverts hang around, either to rape or molest. And in the above case, even babies now get raped.
Police personnel taking a break at a mamak stall in Kg Cina, Kuala Terengganu
The police should concentrate on safeguarding the public. All we want to do is walk safely and get some fresh air. Even this basic right is now denied. There are enough police officers to safeguard the whole city. We saw this in July 2008 when there were massive roadblocks in the Klang Valley to curb protestors. Every corner, we saw police officers with machine guns guarding the city. It felt so safe then.
Now we see it in Kuala Terengganu as well, hundreds, if not thousands of police personnel are patrolling the streets. So the argument that we do not have enough police personnel is false. Instead of, for instance, arresting anti-war vigil participants, the police should concentrate on patrolling neighbourhoods to make people feel safer. I was quite shocked to read that 21 people were arrested at an anti-war vigil held in Dataran Merdeka in KL recently. The police has time for this?
Sometimes when I go through the video footage of my home security CCTV camera, I cannot even see a single patrol car passing by my house for days. Yet there are thousands of police personnel in Kuala Terengganu. No wonder crime in neighbourhoods is so rampant.