By Lee Wei Lian
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — Places of worship are becoming the target of criminal attacks, reflecting a deterioration of the crime and corruption situation in the country, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said today.
The interfaith group said that in spite of official figures showing a reduction in the crime index, it did not feel like crime rates have dropped.
“On the contrary, spates of kidnapping, theft and white collar crimes appear to be brazen and not isolated as claimed by the home minister,” said MCCBCHST in a press release.
It added that corruption has become an accepted culture among both “takers” and “givers”.
The group said that at its recently concluded AGM, it resolved to urge its faithful as well as citizens at large to play a more active role in combating crime and corruption.
It also resolved to urge the government to show more tangible results in reducing crime and corruption.
Public safety vaulted into the headlines in recent months after a string of shocking crimes, including attempted kidnappings in shopping malls, deaths during snatch thefts and elderly citizens killed after being robbed in their own home, making many feel that the country has become a more dangerous place where personal safety is at risk.
The government sought to allay fears over the apparent surge in crime rates by releasing statistics showing the country’s crime index dropped by 10.1 per cent to 63,221 cases in the first five months of this year from 70,343 during the same period last year.
Many continue to doubt the official statistics, however, due to the sheer volume of anecdotal evidence they encounter from their own friends and family as well as through their social media networks.
Corruption also was identified as one of the top five problems facing Malaysian businesses by the World Economic Forum in its recent global competitiveness report.