Apathy, crime rate and feeling safe

The late Bo Yang, a famous Taiwanese writer, wrote a book called ‘The ugly Chinese”. While what he said is true for certain groups  of the Chinese people, it is actually wrong to profile all Chinese as ugly..

I would say that only a small portion fits the ‘ugliness’ described by Bo Yang. Many of the more educated ones ( by education, I do not mean University or college degree, but rather home upbringing,  since  true education starts from home) are compassionate, since the central teaching of Confucianism is about “REN” or Compassion.

But there are certain old Chinese “Wisdom” passed down from common folks that actually helped shaped the ugliness of certain Chinese people which may have even influenced other Asians, including Malaysians.

For example, there is this saying that ‘ sweep away the snow in front of your house, but do not bother to clean the ice from others’ roofs’. Because of this saying, there are many people who would teach their children not to bother about the affairs of other people, and just to keep to themselves. What they fail to realise is bad happenings can occur to anyone, and if ever they need help, they sure would not want others to practice what they have taught their children.

The recent case of an old lady who fell after being the victim of a snatch thief was a clear cut case of this saying. CCTV showed that 5 persons actually walked past without even rendering any help.

It was the 6th person, a very old Chinese Ah Pek with a walking stick that tried to wave and stop passers-by for help. Eventually 4 person from the nearby flats came to help, but it was too late. The lady died.

This is really apathetic. Some may argue that even with instant help, the lady might still die, but that is actually besides the point here. The point is it could easily be a case that with early and instant help, the victim might survive.  And it could be anyone of us (or our loved ones) who could have been the victim,  given that this type of snatch and run business is now so rampant and common.

As a doctor, I have treated umpteen cases of such victims. Many , in fact, would choose not to make police reports, since to them it would be it would be an exercise in  futility, since we seldom hear of any snatch thieves being caught.

Increasingly, people are now more self centered and selfish. It is now not common to see youngsters standing up and giving their seats to more needy ones, in all forms of public transportation. Sometimes, it is the old chilvarous Ah Pek who would stand up and give his place to a more needy one, and what shameful culture is that!

This apathy apart, we have some conflicting news about crime rate. While the authority maintains that crime rate has come down, we have increasingly come across or heard about robberies. Even areas with security cameras and patrols, such as parking areas of shopping complexes, are no more safe.

While we do not doubt the figures given by the authority, it may be that many victims do not report to police. In other words, there is a gross under-reporting that is happening, resulting in a lower official crime rate.

If that is the case, then we must find out the reason why people do not report such crimes.

Safety to move about is one of the most basic right of a citizen. If we cannot feel safe to go shopping, or we have to worry about the safety of our loved ones who go shopping, then something is really very wrong.

Telling us that crime rate has come down would  not make us feel safer.  In order for feel safe, we must actually see for ourselves that there is a real reduction of stories about robberies in the streets, in the malls, in our own neighbourhood. We must see for ourselves that there are robbers and thieves being caught, charged and jailed.

It would not do to ask newspapers not to report crime happenings, since the primary duty of any news organisation is to report news, whether good or bad.

It would be a case of the proverbial ostrich which bury its head in the sand.

(This article is also available in TMI here.)

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. HuaYong
    Jul 12, 2012 @ 15:26:09

    Boyang ‘The Ugly Chinese’ remain one of the most popular books after many years, but unlike Luxun, I think his writing lack profoundness though, but can’t claim his is entirely flaw. In’呐喊’ (Call to Arms), Luxun outline our coldness and numbness that could make our face turn red, and Arthur Smith in his Chinese Characteristics talk about the lack of civil and public awareness among the Chinese. Poverty is the best excuse then, not sure what is the justification today.

    鲁迅 “不在沉默中爆发 就在沉默中死亡” (To explode in silence, or to die in it.)

    Like

  2. aiz
    Jul 13, 2012 @ 07:42:32

    Don’t forget other crimes too. Illegal and unethical shortcuts to riches, financial scandals and corporate corruptions.

    Yeah… borrowing HY’s quotes… “鲁迅 “不在沉默中爆发 就在沉默中死亡” (To explode in silence, or to die in it.)”

    Like

  3. CYC
    Jul 13, 2012 @ 11:47:09

    The figures published by the authorities is seriously DOUBTFUL.

    Like

  4. WildCard
    Jul 13, 2012 @ 12:49:48

    Many Chinese claims to be influenced by teaching of Confucious, in reality, most Chinese are influenced by teaching of Kia Su. This is because China is a land of scarcity in relationship to its population, hence, self preservation and survival becomes the essence of the Chinese culture. I asked a local Chinese official in China once why is it that Chinese people do not queu up but like to jump queu or cut to the front of the line, his reply was scarcity and people are paranoid of losing out to others.
    With respect to crime rate in Malaysia. Using statistics to measure things like crime or work place safety is a meaningless and irrelevant measures. In the private corporate world, once my safety director presented his new goal in company injury rate. When he has done with his presentation by which he tried to justify why the new corporate safety goal make sense. I explained to him that the only ACCEPTABLE goal for injury is ZERO. The rational is very simple, if the only person injured in that year happened to be his own son, would he accept that ? No, was his answer. Hence, any injury to anyone is not acceptable.
    Crime is a form of injury incident, to the body, to the property and the sense of security. Hence, using KPI to measure crime rate is ridiculous. It is interesting to see if the son of the home minister was robbed and killed, will he still smiles and say ‘ crime rate is best….’. If the answer is no, then the zero crime goal is the only acceptable goal.
    No minister can make any claim on good crime rate unless they themself, their own children can go to town without body guards and police escorts! If they can do this, then we the ordinary humble citizen can feel safe!
    We must symphatize with those victims of crime, any crime for it can happen to us or someone dear to us.

    Like

  5. justicenequality
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 11:01:57

  6. justicenequality
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 11:07:52

  7. disgusted
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 17:24:48

    How serious is the BN government in tackling crimes when only 8% of the RM6 billion budget is allocated for solving crimes? Here U have a “ball-carrier” in the form of MCA president Chua Soiled Lek claiming the BN has the experience in running a government. What is the balance of the budget for? people normally do not report minor crimes unless they lost their ICs and passports as the police reports are needed to replace the lost documents. Why spend 2-3 hours lodging a report and being kicked everywhere like a football. More so wasting time when the lost stolen goods will never be recovered for good?

    Like

  8. CYC
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 19:52:39

    If you have the experience of walking around/through the police station, you will be disgusted of the state of hygiene and deplorable condition of many parts not maintained properly. It reflects well how discipline was our uniform unit.

    KTK also never wants to be outshone by CSL when he claimed Federal gomen did make enough allocation of fund to Selangor and Penang. The only problem was PR state gomen don’t know how to differentiate actual fund disbursed and money used for the benefits of the states. Continue to vote Gelakan and MCA if you are stupid enough to share his explanation.

    Like

  9. CYC
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 15:49:18

    Utusan’s editor said it is okay to spin in order to run down the opposition. I wonder if it is okay to spin in order to cheat the public. In bolehland everything is okay as long as it serves political purpose and govt will close both eyes as long as it create positive impact on their image.

    CSL 在爆发中寻死, KTK在沉默中堕落。

    Like

  10. Phua Kai Lit
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 08:22:30

    Unless we have political change and a new federal govt that makes genuine efforts to respond positively to the needs and wishes of the people, Malaysia will become more and more like Nigeria, an oil-rich failed state/collapsed state.

    Like

  11. CYC
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 19:01:35

    The biggest crime is that the alleged “manufacturing” of “minted malaysians” of Indonesia, Bangladesh and Philippines origin as a means to topple the PR state govt. Very soon, there will more foreigners in Bolehland than genuine Malaysians. But who cares as long they can hold on to power with the help of fake citizens. Meanwhile, MCA and Gerakan are busy publicize their “great effort” in helping senior citizens to obtain citizenship as part of their pre election propaganda knowing very well they won’t be able to help those really need the citizenship – the teenagers and youth.

    Like

  12. Li Li Fa
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 21:35:00

    Newspaper companies in this country are owned or patronised by political parties, who have a strangle-hold on them. News that pass through their iron fist, is undeniably politically flavoured.

    The public has no choice but to receive the so-called ‘tainted ‘news. That is why many have turned to the alternative media who have tried their best to report as honestly without fear or favour.

    As the 13GE looms, everyone is hyped and hearty over many issues. So are the reporters, writers, editors and printers of newspaper companies. Juicy news will certainly top up their coffers and perhaps grease the machinery of the incumbents who wish to stay in power. Here, the pen is mightier than the sword, so to speak.

    To top it all, even cartoons can be controversial. It is because the goons and the clowns are not funny anymore.

    Like

  13. Phua Kai Lit
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 08:19:34

    Political jokes and political cartoons flourish in repressive political climates.

    Search for “soviet political jokes” on the Internet 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_political_jokes

    Malaysian political joke I heard recently:
    Tunku’s time — on the table
    Mahathir’s time — under the table
    Today — including the table !

    Like

  14. HuaYong
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 08:42:18

    wow cyc, that is a good one🙂

    Like

  15. Li Li Fa
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 10:27:34

    Dear Phua Kai Lit,
    I almost fell off my seat laughing at your joke.
    Any chances of tabling it in parliament?

    Like

  16. passer-by
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 10:52:28

    it is a sad thing to see…
    but one of the main reasons for many Malaysians to stop helping such victims is because nowadays it is no longer easy to differentiate between the true and false victim… Very often, the so-called victim is only part of the gang who targets kind ppls who offer help to the “victim”… this is a sad norm… our society is very ill…

    Like

  17. Phua Kai Lit
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 12:45:32

    Not my joke.

    Adapted from the famous and witty Zunar !

    Like

  18. HuaYong
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 12:56:26

    my all time favorite :

    In America, people are free to go to Washington and tell comrade citizens president of the USA is idiot. In Russia, people are free to go to Red Square in Moscow and tell comrade citizens president of USA is also idiot. Russia just like America!

    Like

  19. monsterball
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 19:01:46

    With Dr. Hsu’s permission….I am not here to comment but to inform all visitors that there is a video on the topic..”To understand China in real perspective” at Justin Choo’s blog also known as “Black & White” blog that I think all of you will find that very interesting.
    Thank you.

    Like

  20. Wave33
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 19:21:04

    Quote: “If that is the case, then we must find out the reason why people do not report such crimes.”

    Polis Raja Di Malaysia is the PROBLEM.

    I have been to the Polis station for 4 times in the past three years. Lost my laptop in my boot, left hand side back passenger window broke, front passenger window broke and car battery stolen.

    From the above experience and the treatment that I get from Polis Raja Di Malaysia is GET LOST do not come to report. People are not encourage to make reports, this is downtime for Polis to cari makan in the street for minor traffic offense. I would call it entrapment for the motorist. I had two occasions that I was entrap to make an offence. There was an expected jam because of operasi cari makan, because of that I was caught off guard of the jam and had to jump queue. So… it is the jam cause by polis that made me into forced offense.

    Why people do not make report and here is my experience:

    1. All had sour faces and sound arrogant, as if, it is my fault and giving them work to do. No empathy on my side.

    2. Spend hours on each of my four reports. Wasted time!

    3. Not “customer friend”, instructed to do this and that, and go here and there like new recruit on probation.

    4. Not even one follow-up call or visit to the crime scene.

    5. The report is like a piece a paper to be file up for statistics.

    People do not bother to take the effort! Polis Raja Di Malaysia have a bad image that beyond repair. They extremely good at entrapment of normal citizen for minor offense but fail to catch those frequent criminals that cause hardship and injury.

    Why did I go to polis station to make report after such bad experiences?

    1. It is my civil duty.

    2. I want, no no not correct… I need my statistic to be included as on Point 5 (above) for the Home Minister to take note. But… the Home Minister is too busy on Bersih 3.0

    Even it is so discouraging, I would insist on my making my polis reports. It my duty so other will be safer from the statistics and proactive measures could be taken, and telling Polis Raja Di Malaysia, your raja time is up…

    Get your fat ass up, BACK TO WORK PRDM!

    Like

  21. HuaYong
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 20:31:21

    wave, i listen to the police grumble for two hours the last time i made a report, and another 3 hours waiting for the police to come by, 5 minutes bla bla bla and 2 minutes snapping photo, everything over, and you no longer hear from them. report is a must no matter how. that said, on a personal basis, i find most of them are friendly.

    Like

  22. Son of Muhammad
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 09:45:36

    malaysian police, the court, the macc etc are not meant for or serving the raayat. they are solely for the bn umno goven mechanism. so why waste time. just vote them OUT.

    Like

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