By LIM MUN FAH
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily
First and foremost I would like to congratulate the JB police for having resolved two criminal cases in the city so speedily and the generous coverage they have been granted on local press.
Last Saturday, the Johor police brought in the female Singaporean victim and Singapore media, and announced that the abduction case taking place at a JB gas station had been resolved, and three suspects had been apprehended. The police also said they had recovered the vehicle, mobile phone and laptop belonging to the victim.
Indeed the police should receive a big thumbs-up for taking only three days to resolve the case.
A few days back, the police made another announcement, the robbery involving a businesswoman had also been resolved, and that the suspects had been arrested.
This time, the police took only ONE hour!
But, should the prompt actions from the JB police be translated into total safety of our city? No way! Crime continues to run rampant on a daily basis and fears among local residents and tourists remain very much evident. Singaporeans continue to think negatively of the security in JB.
The female Singaporean victim confessed that her younger sister, two children and maid, who were in JB with her when the incident occurred, were still living in fear and had to be excused from the media conference hosted by the Johor police.
On the bright side of things, the speedy actions on the part of our police over the two cases at least show that they have put in a lot of effort to resolve the cases and are far from being grossly inefficient as popularly portrayed. That, nevertheless, does not mean their public image could be whitewashed overnight.
As a matter of fact, the immediate reaction most people would have on this is: "Look, it is not a question of whether they can do it or not, but whether they want to do it at all."
The police need not feel dejected over such unflattering response for the simple reason that this stereotyped image of theirs has been built up progressively over the years and decades.
A friend who has to regularly take plenty of cash with him across the Causeway due to business needs tells me each time he steps out of his JB house, he would be instantly overcome by crippling anxiety which could be instantly relieved the moment he sets his feet on the other side of the Causeway.
I know what the friend has tried to tell me, and I believe our police should get the message, too.
Prime minister Najib has said he hopes the police can do better than this, for if they fail, they will bring down with them the way Malaysians view the government.
All that we little fries want from our police is a simple wish not to live in a city known by outsiders as the "Sin City."
When I was joining a tour in South Korea several years back, our guide said jokingly to some female tourists from JB: "You don't have to cling on your handbags so tight. You are now in Seoul, not JB!"
I had wanted to tell him, "You're wrong, man. Seoul is very safe, but JB is safer!"
But I knew couldn't.
How I wished I could do so some day.