Tuesday, May 27, 2008

State government wants to reduce unemployment - The Star

May 27, 2008 By TAN KARR WEI

THE Selangor Government is looking into ways to reduce unemployment in the state.

Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong said besides insufficient police personnel, unemployment was one of the reasons for the high crime rate in many areas in the state.

The other reasons include migration of people from rural to urban areas and the failure of town planning committees to include police stations and beat bases in new residential areas.

“A lot of graduates are unemployed. We are trying to get more investors into the state to provide more jobs. We also want to intensify agriculture where locals can be involved, make transparent the licensing process for traders and hawkers and make welfare more accessible to those in need,” said Wong, who is also Selangor tourism, consumer affairs and environment executive councillor.

We want better security: Sivarasa (in blue shirt) and Wong (in red T-shirt) flagging off the Bandar Utama crime prevention walk with (from left) BURA chairman Datuk Manpal Singh Sacdev, Damansara Utama police station deputy head Sjn Mejar Jipa Langob, Sarif and BU6 chairman Victor Liew.

Together with Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, Wong joined about 150 residents of Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, in a walk around the neighbourhood to raise awareness of crime prevention.

Sivarasa said Malaysia had a ratio of about one policeman to 260 citizens while the international recommended ratio is 1:250.

“The problem lies in how they are deployed. Out of the 100,000 police personnel, one-third are doing administrative work while another one-third are in the public order and safety department. In short, we have a police force that is not deployed efficiently,” said Sivarasa.

He added that residents now had to organise safety measures like setting up guardhouses and boom gates at their own expense, which was not the long-term answer to the problem.

“This walk organised by the Bandar Utama Residents Association (BURA) is a strong signal to the authorities that as taxpaying residents, they want better security,” he said.

Wong added that the ratio of one police officer to every 1,800 people in Selangor was unacceptable.

“We will continue to pressure the government to deploy more officers for crime investigation,” said Wong.

Damansara Utama police station head C/Insp M. Sarif Siran said there were 84 officers in the station, which serviced an area with about 500,000 residents.

“We understand the problems faced by residents and we urge residents to co-operate with the police. They must report any crime to the police immediately,” said Sarif.

He said it was sad that many people did not even know who their neighbours were and there had been cases of houses being broken into right before the eyes of the neighbouring residents.

Wong announced that Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman had agreed to allow boom gates in the Bandar Utama area to remain in place for the time being.

The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had earlier issued notices to residents to remove boom gates set up in several areas.

“It was a good move by the mayor to allow these boom gates until there is a more comprehensive solution to reduce crime in the area,” Wong said, adding that there should be a revision in council bylaws to accommodate security measures initiated by residents.

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