16 July 2007

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com Please.
Wednesday July 4, 2007

Catch the ‘cat’ rapist fast

There have been three cases in the past month. What are the police doing about this serial rapist, and what should parents do to protect their children?


If I needed proof that our sense of proportion has become very skewed, then the other day’s news was it.

On the front page were the usual sensational headlines about the ongoing murder trial, as well as a little teaser about some billionaire who managed to stop his house from being sealed.

As much as these are distressing to the individuals above, we skim through them and file them away as “bad stuff happens”.

But inside I found truly alarming news. Buried deep inside the newspaper pages was a story about a serial rapist currently on the prowl in the heart of KL whose victims are, disturbingly, little girls.

He lures them by asking them to help find his cat. Then the girls turn up many hours later dirty, bruised and traumatised.

So far there have been three cases in the past month while two other little girls may have escaped the same fate.

As the mother of a little girl exactly the same age as these victims, the news made me shudder. I cannot imagine anything worse happening to my daughter.

But I have to ask, why is there no outcry? Why aren’t outraged parents demanding the police do something to apprehend the rapist immediately?

Why have there been no warnings to other parents about the rapist’s modus operandi? Why aren’t there frontpage headlines?

Is it because there are no VIPs or celebrities involved? As tragic as some high-profile cases may be, doesn’t the trauma of little girls warrant attention as well?

Just what is going on these days? In Johor Baru, crime has become so bad (including violent crimes against women) that people actually had a signature campaign to demand more effective action against criminals. And it worked, because then the Cabinet decides to deploy extra police to man JB streets.

But, what about in KL? In the first few months of this year, I had so many friends who had their homes broken into, themselves and their families tied up and property taken.

The whole series of similar crimes in one area of PJ ended up with one prominent ex-policeman dead.

Yet still, none of my friends have had any of their burglaries solved, they have had to put in extra security and nobody feels any safer.

The other day at a chance meeting, someone asked if I could help do something about crime in her area.

Why are people turning to me about this? Is it because, like everything else, it is only if a VIP complains that action will be taken?

Since when has security become a commodity that needs to be sold?

The price is to know somebody who can actually go and do something about it. But every citizen surely has a right to basic security that is the Government’s job to ensure. Why wait until people are just sick of the situation?

As former IGP Tun Hanif Omar said in his column last Sunday, in talking about how police accountability depends on media, “for citizens to make the best choice, we need the best information possible.

So, barring sensitivities to national security and public order, our society should be as transparent as possible.”

If we don’t complain, then nothing gets done. And the best avenue to complain through is the media.

But what if the media picks and chooses what it will allow the public to complain about?

What if, for reasons of law or sensitivity, it simply ignores issues even though these are troubling the public a great deal? Is this wise in the long term?

I see speeches about the media by the powers-that-be at the Internal Security Ministry, which of course oversees the police, which can only send chills down one’s spine.

The media are quite explicitly told that they have to behave themselves or else they will suffer the big stick.

Now this is hardly conducive to giving citizens the best information possible in order to make the best choices.

What do we really want? Do we want to take our place in the world as a developed nation or do we want to hide in our little cocoon?

Today nobody is isolated from anyone else, thanks to the Internet. Every clever thing we say here reaches the other side of the world in seconds.

Similarly, every single unintelligent word does the same. The key is to ensure there is more of the former than the latter.

Meantime, I want to know what the police are doing about this serial rapist in Kampung Baru, and what should parents do to protect their children, who obviously cannot be kept at home all the time.

If we fail to protect little girls, how confident can we be about security for everyone else?