Criminals in Sarawak seem to be targeting rich people and politicians with Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang the latest victim.

NONELiwan (right) was robbed of his 4WD vehicle at knife point at about 6.30am yesterday in the middle of Kota Sentosa town.

Politicians who have become victims of robberies and burglaries include Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's office Daud Abdul Rahman, Semariang Assemblyperson Sharifah Hasidah, former Deputy Chief Minister George Chan, former Assistant Minister Bolhassan Di, former MP for Sri Aman Jimmy Donald, the late Assistant Minister Dublin Unting and the former President of Sarawak National Party, Edwin Dundang.

Describing crime in Sarawak as very serious, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen, slammed the state government for manipulating crime statistics to give the people a false sense of security that crime is well under control.

Chong, who is also the MP for Bandar Kuching and Kota Sentosa Assemblyperson said: "The robbery is ironic in the sense that just on Nov 26, Special Functions Minister Adenan Satem in his winding up speech at the recent State Assembly had proudly claimed that the crime rate in the state had gone down by 11.36 percent, from 2012 to 2013.

"The statistics give us a picture that the government had done a tremendous job in handling crime.

"However yesterday, the assistant minister was robbed of his vehicle right in the middle of the town," he said, pointing out that this is evidence that the security of the state is deteriorating.

NONEQuoting a report which appeared in the New York Times in October this year, Chong (left) said that it was reported that the Malaysian government had stopped giving the United Nations its crime statistics.

"This begs a lot of questions. Why did the government stop doing that? Is it because of different definitions of crime?

"You change the definitions, you change the parameters, and the result is the manipulation of the statistics," he said.
'Rise in crime a perception'

Giving another example, Chong quoted one minister who said that the "rise in crime is a perception".

"But when his house was robbed in the middle of this year, then he made a statement that crime is real.

"Do we have to wait until all high ranking politicians become victims of crime that the government will take crime seriously? What happened to Liwan yesterday could have happened to anyone," he said.

Chong said the root of crime was in the lack of economic wellbeing.

"When people are poor and do not have stable incomes, they tend to resort to crime when they are faced with financial problems."

He suggested that there should be no monopoly of state resources, and those in power should not take everything - timber concessions, quarries, land, cement, government contracts, even the rubbish collection.

"If only all Sarawakians had a share in the state's wealth, I am sure the crime rate will be reduced," he asserted.

~ Malaysiakini