NEWS ANALYSIS The country's top cop and his phalanx of senior officials are angry that gangsters are taunting them by parading gang colours in public and spraying gang numbers all over the place.
They should be. This is not Tijuana or Sinaloa in Mexico where drug cartels such as the Los Zetas control all aspects of life.
This is Malaysia where gangsters are supposed to be afraid of the biggest gang of all - the 100,000-strong Royal Malaysian Police, legally armed with a powerful arsenal of weapons and with a irrevocable mandate to keep the country safe for all.This is a brazen show of force by gang 04 members after five of its alleged gang leaders were killed by police in Penang on Tuesday. They wore their number and colours openly, carried their flags and blocked off traffic during an elaborate funeral procession right through the artery of the island.
So how did it come to this?
And this was not a one-off coming out party for gangsters.
Ask Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pic) and any other senior cop how the underbelly of Malaysian society become so in your face, and they are likely to point to the dismantling of the Emergency Ordinance, the legislation which allowed for preventive detention.
Doing away with the law resulted in the release of over 2,000 battle-hardened criminals back onto the streets. And what followed were turf wars, a spike in murders and shootings. We get that narrative. Cause and effect.
But how do you explain this show of force, this no fear of authorities, this come-and-get-me-if-you-dare challenge? Criminals the world over do not advertise their presence to the cops unless they believe that:
1) The police and other security agencies are inept.
2) They have enough "cables" with those in power to get out of even the most hopeless of situations. Therefore, getting arrested and thrown into jail is only a minor inconvenience.
In the run-up to the elections, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and senior BN leaders graced a mammoth dinner in Port Klang, attended by a football-stadium size crowd. In attendance were some of the biggest names in Malaysia's underworld to show solidarity with the ruling coalition.
Now, if you are a soldier or a lieutenant in one of these notorious gangs and you see the big boss rubbing shoulders with the powerful and connected of the country, surely you would go away thinking that you have some powerful friends in the right places.
And the fact that the gangs are able to grow prosperous on prostitution, extortion and drugs unmolested can only harden their view that they are a protected species.
On the flip side, the ordinary policeman, detectives, senior investigators and even some senior cops at district levels must wonder if they should crack down on known gangs after seeing their political bosses and their superiors share bread and hugs with known crime bosses.
In time, this potent combination of being untouchable and the police standoffish approach results in gangsters who do not have any fear of authority and cops who constantly are waiting for the green light to carry out an operation against criminals.
Too simplistic? Maybe for some. But it surely makes more sense than blaming the dismantling of the EO on the couldn't-care-less attitude of Malaysia's gangsters.
Yes, the removal of the legislation puts some hardened criminals on the streets but why are the even greenhorn gangsters flicking their finger at the cops? - August 22, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider