The New Paper,
M'SIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER REPLIES: 'NO CAUSE FOR ALARM, SECURITY TO BE TIGHTENED'
It was interesting that on 2 Apr, The Sunday Times and The New Paper on Sunday simultaneously carried lengthy reports and an editorial (The Sunday Times) on car thefts in Johor.
It was unfortunate that these reports over-exaggerated the actual situation on the ground and at the same time portrayed four major shopping malls in Johor Bahru (
The immediate and strong reaction to these reports could certainly have been anticipated.
The Johor State Government, the Johor Police authorities, the Johor Bahru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Malaysia Shopping Complex Management Association (Southern Region), among others, were swift in their response.
State Tourism and Environment Committee Chairman, Mr Freddie Long, in a press conference convened on 3 Apr, clearly articulated the serious concerns of the state, including the repercussions that such adverse reports might have on the state's economy, tourism flows from
Questions were also raised on whether there was a 'hidden agenda' behind these reports. It would be useful first to establish the facts. From statistics compiled by the Johor Police authorities, in recent years car thefts involving Singapore-registered cars have been negligible.
In 2004, of the 1,381 cars reported stolen in Johor, only 33 (2.39 per cent) were Singapore-registered cars. In 2005, of the 1,394 cars reported stolen, 52 (3.7 per cent) were Singapore-registered cars. In January and February 2006, of the 264 car thefts reported, only 3 were from
Looking at these statistics, the outcry in the
Singaporeans should rest assured that the Johor state government is constantly taking steps to reduce criminal activities, including car thefts, and improve public safety, both for its people as well as for visitors to the state, including our neighbours from
To deter robberies and car thefts, the police authorities in Johor have just announced that an additional 100 men and 45 patrol cars would be deployed. Closed-circuit TV cameras linked to the state police headquarters are also being installed at strategic locations. The Johor state government would also soon hold discussions with the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Bakri Omar, to look into measures to further improve security in the state.
Johor-bashing should stop. The sooner, the better. We should not stand in the way of forging more and even closer interactions between Johor and
Dato' N Parameswaran
High Commissioner of
I have just read an excellent book titled Freakonomics. It basically shows how available data can be used to logically disprove commonly-held assumptions. Let me try to apply some of its precepts to a current bilateral bone of contention -- how Malaysian car thieves appear to be targeting Singapore-registered cars.
It was alleged in a
To put things into proper perspective, we would need to know (or guess) what proportion of cars in Johor (at any given hour) were from
I couldn't find any direct reference to the number of cars in Johor, but various sources suggest that Malaysians have 1 car for every 2 people, Johor's population of 2.8 million would suggest that there are about 1,400,000 cars in the state (not too surprising given that Johor covers an areas of almost 20,000 sq km).
Based on these assumptions, there are about
Since 3.7% of the cars stolen in Johor were from
Perhaps someone (like Dr Tai perhaps?) would like to do a more rigorous study to support or dispute this?