THE latest victim of homicide in Malaysia was a security firm owner. His wife was seriously injured when two gunmen shot the couple outside a school in Selayang, Selangor. Homicide is the killing of a human being by a human being.
There is a widespread perception that crime is a serious problem in Malaysia. How many murders were committed on average per day last year? Are we safe?
Based on international studies, Malaysia ranks low for most reported crimes compared with other Asians countries.
Malaysia fell from 19th to 20th for the safest country in the world in the 2012 Global Peace Index (GPI). Singapore is the 23rd safest place while Indonesia is 63rd and Thailand is 126th.
The GPI rankings, for the 158 countries, cover indicators such as crime, terrorism, government, democracy and respect for human rights.
Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin stated that there were only 511 murder cases last year, compared with 561 in 2010.
Based on the latest criminal homicide statistics released by the United Nations' Office on Crime and Drugs, the average homicide cases in Malaysia are 605 per year. Therefore, it translates to fewer than two homicide (1.3) cases per day.
In 1995, Malaysia (population 20 million then) had a murder rate of 395 people per year, or an average one person was murdered per day.
Therefore, the aggregate rates of homicide victimisation in Malaysia have not changed appreciably since 20 years ago.
If we examine the homicide incidents, Thailand is near the top of any list of countries for murder with firearms.
Thailand, whose population reaches 65 million this year, the rate of homicide cases is 3,307 per year, or 10 people are killed daily, while in Indonesia (population 237 million), there are 19,000 homicide cases yearly, with 57 being killed daily. On average, 35 Americans are murdered each day in United States.
The US has 313 million citizens while China (population 1.35 billion) has a murder rate of 37 people every day, or 13,400 per year.
The homicide rate in China is quite low compared with the US and this is maybe due to China imposing severe and strict penalty on homicide cases.
So, we can conclude that Malaysia is generally a safe country to travel and live in.