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It is the question that many of us keep asking these days. Is our neighborhood safe?

Several years ago the statistics was that Selangor has the highest snatch thieve cases in Malaysia. And in Selangor, Ampang is the district with the highest rate. And among the many hot-spots in Ampang, Ampang Point seems to be the highest then. At one time when one of our office colleague made a police report when his locked motorbike was stolen in the broad daylight which was parked right in front of the office next to the busy Ampang Point branch of Maybank, the police officer said that they have report of snatch cases, stolen bikes and car window smashed every week.

Snatch cases triple up towards the end or early of the month when people would be carrying extra cash from their salary. We had, in separate incidents, two of our staffs being dragged while holding on to their handbags.

That was then, early in 2000’s. I do not know of the latest statistics.

The presence of this pondok polis and regular patrol of the police should have helped to deter crime but did not stop totally

But we still read in our dailies of robberies and all sort of other crimes happening still, including Ampang. That is despite the latest announcement by the authorities that the street crime rate has dropped by about 13% (?).

During last Raya, while in Terengganu, we read about a house being broke-in during daylight and the only person in the house was a lady. Frustrated with nothing valuable the two robbers raped her. And that happened just the other street from our house.

Two weekends ago, our newly moved-in next door neighbor lost his gas cylinder left at the front porch of his house, despite having the view blocked by their two cars parked under the newly renovated porch. Unfortunately, as we scrolled back our CCTV recording it was not captured – probably the thieve/s use the other side of his gate not covered by our camera.

Such petty theft are becoming norms and being accepted these days – and sometime done by school children (as reported in the paper today – of robbery done while they were in school uniform).

Even reachable by my 7 year old and it is of course tempting ...

We have a big mango tree just outside our gate. This year it was supposed to be a very good harvest. As usual we would distribute to “all” the neighbors along our row. While it was nice to be able to share with our neighbors (and those who clean the neighborhood – Alam Flora contractors) we were also forced to share with the passersby who would just come and pluck the mangoes (as we could see their behaviour from our CCTV 😉 )

Some would purposely come just to steal and run away. There were those who would stand on the seat of their motorcycle to gain the height for the taller fruits. Or the younger ones would come with bicycles, two or three of them would be climbing while the others would be on the look out while others ready with plastic bags under the tree.

Well, it maybe just “curi buah” from the tree by the street and maybe just something small and petty. But are the parents not educating about values?

Something of latest that happened yesterday was told by my kampung friend (read about my “kampunghood” here) married to a former popular actress/singer, who is now also a “kampung-mate” again far away from hometown as we pray together at the same mosque everyday. After having our Jumaat prayer, as I was about to share with him about his former classmate that I just managed to get in touch via my other blog (sulaimanian.wordpress.com), he was eargerly wanting to tell me what had just happened to his son in the morning.

The lad who is waiting for his SPM result was walking from his house to his work place and was stopped by a policeman.  After being asked for identification, the policeman asked him to follow pillion on the bike to the police station. For the innocent boy, this seemed to be genuine, as the policeman was having intermittent noise coming from his walkie-talkie.

Instead of going to the nearby police station – which is just a few hundred meters away, the guy passed the station and stopped at a quiet back lane further away and start wanting for more. Took his phone. But luck was with the boy – probably from the prayers of their parents who never miss the jemaah at Masjid Hidayah Kg Pandan Dalam and also his grandfather whom I remember always prayed with us at Surau Lorong Mok Pe those days. An alert civic-minded man drove by and stopped. Noticing something not right he went to them and start asking. While the policeman now tried to fend off by giving excuses that it was just a family matter, the smart thinking boy gave a facial signal to the man.

Sensing the man’s move, the bogus policeman sped up his motorbike and thus saved my friend’s son only to loose his phone and IC. And a police report was made.

But back to the initial question I started with, is our neighborhood safe? We hardly hear about theft when I was growing up at the government quarters then. We never lock our bikes – let alone have our doors and windows fixed with steel grills. But it is so common nowadays. Report on stolen bikes are now just for statistic purpose.

This morning while driving to our favorite jogging place at 7.30 we had to swerved our car on a quite street of Taman Ampang Utama to avoid hitting a drunken man sleeping on the road. I then called the nearby police station, which I always do when I notice something that should be reported while driving and I have the number in my phone all the time. The officer answering my call gave me a surprise reply. “Oh, orang Korea yang mabuk tu! Kita orang dah suruh dia balik pukul 5 pagi tadi”

Imagine, that drunken Korean has been there for over two hours and nobody bother!

[Just a side-track: Ampang is now crowded with Koreans, with thousands of them. There are not less than 5 Korean grocery stores in the neighborhood, about 20 eateries, more than 5 churches. They have their own workshop operated by Koreans. And they even have their own security patrol unit and community commuter van service provided for their people. There are not less than 7 vans – clearly labeled – but LPKP may have given then special permit???]

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