I CANNOT stomach reading about the increase in snatch thefts and robberies in the country.
According to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, the crime index had dropped by 11 per cent in the past two years and new initiatives would be taken to ensure safety and security.
However, there is a growing concern among the people that the government is in denial where crime is concerned.
Snatch thefts continue to happen rampantly nationwide. A spate of five snatch thefts took place near a bank in Jalan Rasah, Seremban recently.
In Penang, Tan Kim Chuan, 60, who suffered a cracked skull in the incident, lay on the road bleeding near a flat while people just walked past without offering any help.
In Balik Pulau, 73-year-old Fatimah Ahmad had a knife pointed at her throat before she was punched and robbed by the assailant.
In Rahang, a woman had withdrawn money to pay her workers from a bank in Jalan Rasah and was driving towards the post office. Two men tailed her and grabbed her bag containing RM40,000 as she was about to alight from the vehicle.
The Home Ministry has even considered imposing mandatory whipping on snatch thieves to curb this scourge.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop, in a meeting with representatives of the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation, said: "The Home Ministry is aware that ragut is the No. 1 crime in the country and we are considering using mandatory whipping against these offenders."
The call for mandatory whipping of snatch thieves was first mooted by the police 10 years ago. It has resurfaced following a rise in snatch thefts, which had resulted in deaths and serious injuries.
Although whipping is a provision under Section 379 of the Penal Code, it is not mandatory and most snatch thieves get away with a jail sentence.
Every one of us must take responsibility to curb crime.
The police must beef up patrols in hot spots like banks and along busy streets near shopping malls.
In an earlier article, I had recommended learning martial art to ward off criminals.
What the people want is less talk and more action by the police and stringent punishment to be meted out to snatch thieves. We do not want our country to be infested with snatch thieves and drive away tourists.