PETALING JAYA, Aug 19 — Police have launched a major crackdown nationwide to arrest the tide of rising violence, following a wave of killings, mostly involving shootings, that has gripped the nation.
Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan police carried out a string of simultaneous operations in their states against gangsterism, drug-related activities, possession of dangerous weapons, illegal gaming and other crimes.
In Selangor, operations were conducted in Klang, Gombak, Ampang and Subang Jaya, while in Kuala Lumpur, operations were concentrated in Cheras and the city areas.
Police sources said hundreds of people and vehicles were checked during the six-hour operations that started at 6pm on Saturday and continued into the wee hours of yesterday morning.
The special operation is code-named “Ops Cantas,” which means to cut off.
The blitz started after district police chiefs from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor met with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar on Friday night.
The sudden rise in violence was attributed, in part, to the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance in 2011, which led to the release of 2,600 people under preventive detention.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak repealed the law in a bid to boost civil liberties.
Najib has since vowed to introduce new laws to combat the surge in crime. The swift action by police comes after several high-profile shootings in recent months.
On June 15, Royal Malaysian Customs deputy director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim, 58, was shot dead at a traffic light junction in Putrajaya.
On July 27, anti-crime activist R. Sanjeevan, 29, was shot in Jempol, Negri Sembilan.
Two days later, Arab-Malaysian Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi, 75, was gunned down at a car park at Lorong Ceylon in Kuala Lumpur.
Penang was rocked by three separate shootings this month alone.
A former convicted drug dealer was shot dead in broad daylight on August 8, on the same day an unidentified gunman sprayed 10 shots at a bungalow in Jalan Utama.
The next day, a club bouncer, 43, was shot at seven times outside a night club in Datuk Keramat.
The latest shooting in the Klang Valley took place on Thursday, when a lorry driver was shot dead at point-blank range in Kapar.