Friday, July 13, 2012


For as long as I known, the grass cutters I have seen have been exclusively Indonesians. One can see them in the housing areas and sometimes along the roads and highways. You may have seen them, wearing a straw hat, face covered with a morning towel and sometimes wearing spectacles and cutting grass using the mobile grasscutter that looks like a simple contraption. I have yet to see an Indian grasscutter or ever known an Indian who has been given a prestigious grass cutting contract by the government or even the local authorities.

The Sun newspaper on Wednesday July, 12 published an interview with P. Kamalanathan, MIC’s Information Chief and Member of Parliament for Hulu Selangor where he answered a range of questions. This question really caught my eye.

Question by Sun

How is MIC helping Indian youths ?

Answer by P. Kamalanathan.
“ In my constituency, we identified 240 Indian Youths and sent them to a college offering courses such as GRASS CUTTING, wiring etc…”

Isn’t it amazing to see that P. Kamalanathan and MIC  gushing with great pride for helping Indians become grasscutters. After 54 years of independence, empowering Indians as grasscutters is seen to be the height of achievement by MIC.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Friday, July 1, 2012

Singaporean businesswoman Rita Zahara was driving her family back to Singapore at about 1 am when she stopped near Jalan Tun Abdul Razak to buy fruits from a roadside stall, while her children and maid waited in the car. Two men armed with guns and knives hijacked her car. Intense negotiation with the criminals ensued and she eventually found her family safe in Ulu Tiram. The criminals escaped with her car and valuables.

Monday, July 4, 2012

Singaporean Affendi Mamat  was at a brightly lit petrol kiosk at Jalan Tebrau, Johor Bahru, just across the road from the police headquaters at 2 am, when two men got into his Hyundai Sonata and ordered him to drive. The robbers pointed a gun and a knife at him and ordered him to drive off where he was dumped with his hands tied at a road side near Kota Tinggi, some 140km away. The criminals escaped with his car.

Thursday, July 7, 2012

Sin Min Daily News reported about Singaprean part-time tutor David Lim who was robbed at gunpoint in Perrmas Jaya Johor Bahru at 10.45pm when he met three men who appeared to be interested in buying the laptops he was selling online.
To digress a little, all the above cases involved Singaporeans. Malaysians too are victims of Johor Bahru crimes.  The Star newspaper July, 4  reported :

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In a daring heist outside the Johor police headquarters, a group of aremed men smashed the windows of a car and grabbed a bag said to contain RM100,000. The men were armed with steering locks.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A bodyguard was shot fivetimes before robbers escaped with RM100,000 from a moneychanging outlet at Holiday Plaza, Johor Bahru.

Its been  a successful and prosperous July for criminals ! 

Anyway, coming back to the recent cases of Singaporeans who had fallen victims to criminals, last Saturday, the Johor police held a press conference to announce that they had arrested three suspects and recovered Rita Zahara’s Nissan Sunny. According to Johor CPO Dato Mokhtar Mohd Shariff, the three suspects were arrested in Felda Ulu Tebrau area and the police also seized a pump gun with three bullets, two pistols, one police badge, among aothers. Apparently this gang is believed to have been behind 14 other crimes in Johor, including vehicle theft, robbery and drug offences. Two other male suspects are still on the run.

At the press conference, Dato Mokhtar also released figures on the number of crimes against Singaporens :

2009                           :  413 cases
2010                           :  320 cases
2011                           : 400 cases
2012 ( Jan –June)      : 216 cases

(A simple interpretation of the statistics would reveal that ONE Singaporean is a victim of crime EVERY DAY in Johor Bahru ! )

The Johor Police must be commended for their quick action in apprehending the criminals and resolving the recent carjacking and attemted kidnapping case involving Rita Zahara and her family members. Dato Mohktar has described the criminals as “retarded and moronic “. Harsh words indeed. Still, what”s really needed are not merely harsh words but effective policing.

A few months ago, again after a wave of crimes particularly snatch-theft cases, there was a sudden visible presence of police in the city centre. In fact there was a visible presence of police walking the streets and particularly at bus-stops during the rush hours. There were even some temporary police post. Well, it would seem that they have all tapered off.

Perhaps, YDH Dato’ CPO Johor can for a start give statistics as to how many CCTV have been installed ( and of course functioning) in Johor Bahru year on year from 2008.

Also, how effective have the police “scrambler motorbike” unit been as a crime prevention unit. A general public description about this unit is “police joy-ridders”. 

If there are are any advice to give the police, it is to ask the police to increase and have more visible policing and police post at areas patronized by visitors particularly at Taman Pelangi, Taman Sentosa, Taman Suria, Tebrau City vicinity and Permas Jaya. All housing areas and Taman’s must be monitored by CCTV or “eye in the sky” and linked and monitored at the Johor Police headquarters.

Another thing which is causing concern to Johor Bahru residents are the influx of foreigners and questionable tourist in Johor Bahru. Some are even running their own busineses and petty trading. There is already a noticeable increase of Africans in Johor Bahru and believe me not all are students. Could the CPO perhaps direct the local authorities MBJB and MBJBT to make a mandatory requirement that house-owners renting rooms or their house to foreigners are compelled to lodge comprehensive details (including photograph) of their tenants with the local council and police station. Seeing the Afghan and Pakistani looking “tourist” in Johor Bahru, it would seem that they may be bidding time for their place on the boat to Australia and Johor is the cstagging post.

 At  Saturday’s  press conference Dato Mokhtar said “ There was a lot of publicity, This will affect the investment climate, the confidence of Singaporeans coming here. We don’t want all this”

To the Johor CPO, we Johor Bahru residents want a crime free Johor Bahru and the onus is on you to ensure that Johor Bahru is free from crime. Effective policing and not police statistics which gives comfort and peace of mind to Johor Bahru residents. When Lim Guan Eng made a comment (in fact years ago Lee Kuan Yew said the same) that one is more likely to be kidnapped or robbed in Johor Bahru, it riled up many and political opportunists took advantage to make numerous police reports against him. Was what he said was wrong or we speak in hush tone what Lim Guan Eng said in the open. Has Lim Guan Eng been proven to be wrong ? 

Finally, the life-blood of Johor Bahru economy are Singaporeans and some two million Singaporean residents visit Johor Bahru ever month. Taking RM500 per Singaporean spent in Johor Bahru, that is about RM 10 million per month from Singaporean visitors alone. That’s a lot of money. 

Surely, Johor Bahru deserves better security!