Terengganu police chief Datuk Aidi Ismail (left) says the state has a 97 per cent Malay population, and the community still shows respect towards figures of authority. Bernama pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu has no gangsterism problem, claims its police chief, because the state is overwhelmingly Malay.

Datuk Aidi Ismail said Terengganu has a 97 per cent Malay population, and the community still shows respect towards figures of authority, which includes village elders, village chiefs and imams.

“This culture is an advantage, and can prevent crimes related to gangsterism,” national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying.

Moreover, he said residents usually report criminal activities to the police, such as drug abuse by youths.

He noted that Terengganu’s crime index showed a 7.3 per cent decrease for the first 10 months of 2017, compared with the same period last year.

Malaysia has been grappling with problems related to gangsterism over the years.

Rohaimi Md Isa, the principal assistant director for the federal police Anti-vice, Gambling and Secret Societies Division, said more gangsters under the age of 21 were arrested last year than in 2015.

Among the famous Malay gangs in Malaysia are Double 7, while well-known Chinese gangs are 24, Ang Beng Hui and Wah Kee. Indian gangs are mostly named after numbers, like 360, 04 and 21.

Despite problems with gangsterism, Putrajaya said in May this year that Malaysia’s crime index has shown a gradual decrease between 2010 and 2016, recording a 47 per cent reduction in criminal activities.

The crime index is used to measure the volume of crime in a given area, which comprises acts such as property theft and violent crime. It does not cover commercial crime, drug-related business crime and cyber crime.

But Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Malaysian police are still seen as ineffective by the public.

He also said the public are still sceptical of the crime reduction initiatives carried out by the government.

“This is a very big challenge for the government as the statistics given is doubted by the public and clearly, this has a lot to do with perception,” an English-language daily quoted him as saying in July. -- AGENCIES

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