Thursday, September 28, 2006

YB Chew, what have you got to say to these two Malaysiakini readers?

The crime rate in PJ is climbing up rapidly just like any other urban towns. But all the elected reps like Chew Mei Fun of PJ Utara could do was to hold PR dialogues with residents and police force.

They were not bothered with the fact that only about 7,000 out of 92,000 police personnels were actually involved in combating crimes.

Neither do they care about the setting up of IPCMC or police reforms.

Chew, who lives in gated properties like Aman Suria, has been advocating for gated communities as a "solution".

She even abused her position by asking the PJ police to send patrol cars right into where she's staying, and to patrol "within the gated community"!!!

Two Malaysiakini readers have written letters to the Editor to express their disappointment with Chew. Just wondering whether she would bother to respond to their queries.

Letter 1: Safe in her little enclave M Chang Sep 26, 06 6:05pm

With regard to the article in The Star titled Chew is all for gated communities, I have to say that the MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, Chew Mei Fun, has demonstrated that she is not only oblivious to the real issues of the day, but her opinions are naïve, condescending and insensitive, to say the least.

Is she advocating that we all move to gated communities – which are basically enclaves for the wealthy - just so we can feel safer.

Shouldn't we, as taxpayers, be able to rely on the police to keep our country safe for all Malaysians?

Isn't she just as concerned as the rest of us that her government (I didn't vote for BN) hasn't really got a concrete plan to reduce crime and corruption in this country?

Not only does she not say much in Parliament, she doesn't seem to have a stand in matters that are of concern to the people.

We have hardly heard her opinions on PJ issues, such as the billboard issue, the pest control issue (when it was raging), the increase in assessment rates, etc.

And what, pray tell, YB, is your stand on the IPCMC?

Letter 2: Gated community: How many can afford its lifestyle? YY Sep 27, 06 6:36pm

When member of parliament and Women, Family and Community Development parliamentary secretary Chew Mei Fun, a victim of snatch theft and burglary, openly declared that “I was scared”, many would have identified with her situation.

Here at last was a voice in the government that would be calling for steps to be taken to make the streets and neighbourhood safer for all.

Would she press the government for increased police patrols, for example?

What Chew advocated was, alas, a disappointment. It is true that gated communities and condominiums, being private properties with restricted access, do provide a greater measure of security.

However, such safety comes at a cost. It is not only the private security services that have to be paid for. When street lights don’t work or if potholes appear in the streets inside of the community gates, the bills for repair and maintenance go to the residents. Hence, here is no such thing as a ‘cheap’ gated community that can be well-run.

I have nothing against those who can afford the lifestyle gated communities offer. If they have worked hard to achieve success in life, let them taste the fruit of their labour.

But we have to accept that most Malaysians will not be among this group. There are also the existing non-gated properties, where the overwhelming majority of the population live, to consider.

Will personal safety and security then be available only to those who can afford it? Should not ordinary folk living outside the high walls of exclusive gated communities expect good neighbourhood security to be provided by the police?

Chew can look forward to feeling even safer before long. The up-and-coming parliamentary secretary is only a few steps away from becoming a minister, at which time she would be assigned her own personal bodyguard.

Until the streets are made safer, the rest of us (we, too, are scared) who can afford neither gated communities nor personal bodyguards will just have to take our chances.


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