Rampant snatch theft, residential burglaries, crimes against women and children, murders, armed robbery and assault have seriously affect the public perception of safety.
Most Malaysians believe that the Police have not taken the double rise of crime rate and fear of crime seriously, as there is no appreciable improvement in increasing police visibility and accessibility in their neighborhoods.
Many believe Malaysia is going through a dangerous phase where citizens have lost the fundamental right to safety and security, whether in the streets, public places or even the privacy of their homes.
The rising crime problem is often also linked in the public perception to the large number of foreign workers in Malaysia. Keadilan can also highlight the deprivation of local jobs by BN's foreign workers policy particularly on low income groups.
Keadilan should made crime fighting a central theme of the coming election campaign.
The public is certainly not happy with the rising crime rate, Keadilan should capitalised on this, to court the female vote. The female voting power is an important factor to win the coming election. The Chinese female voters tend to vote for MCA, while the Malay female voters tend to vote for UMNO. Without the vote of female voters, it will be an uphill battle against the BN.
BN have long taken many voters for granted, but they cannot do so forever. Recent Hindraf's rally, the public unhappiness with the rising crime rate , Chinese's perception of BN's violation of social contract, and etc., is a good indication for Keadilan to reach out to women and minorities, to people who might have been marginalized by BN's policies.
The demographic changes our nation is undergoing are unmistakable and undeniable. Minorities and women are making up a larger and larger part of the electorate with each passing election, failure to harness a larger portion of that vote, will make Keadilan obsolete in Malaysia politic.
Keadilan should organize door to door campaign in various neighborhoods to meet and visit with citizens about crime problems in their neighborhoods.
For starting, Keadilan can target JB as the focus area, as the perception of a higher crime wave in JB will help to attract public attention to the campaign . Keadilan need to recruite volunteers to form canvass teams with effective voter contact strategy.
Door-to-door outreach will make Keadilan's leaders visible in the public's eyes. Keadilan can also take the oppurtunity to set up local affinity groups to help canvass for votes in the coming election.
The Malay will not vote for Keadilan if they perceive that Keadilan has no opportunities to win in the coming general election. For the coming election, Keadilan can declare Johor as the battleground to show it's seriousness in winning the election. For BN, Johor is always a stronghold they can afford not to campaign seriously. Declaring Johor as the battleground will help diverting BN resources away from concentrating their efforts in fighting for seats at the North, thus allow PAS to fight more effectively. The strategy will caused havoc to BN's campaign machinery. By harping on issues faced by female voters and Chinese communities especially on rising crime rate and rising living cost, Keadilan can make an impact on the election campaign, while not offending the Malay voters.
Crime fighting campaign is an effective election strategy adopted by a lot of politicians across the globe. Bill Clinton's credentials as a crime-fighter pre-empted Republican attacks on the issue, allow him to win his reelection is one of the example.
The Chinese communities can tolerate the discriminating policy of BN, but they will not ignore the fundamental right to safety and security, whether in the streets, public places or even the privacy of their homes. The Malay female voters although tend to vote for BN, they will seriously reconsider when they start to consider themselves as the likely crime victims.
What Keadilan should do?
- Highlight the increasing number of sexual assault cases involve gang rapes
- Highlight the number of high-profile and brutal cases of rape and murder that remain unsolved.
- Highlight the increasing number of casualty resulting from snatch theft.
- Highlight the impact of rising living cost on marginalized groups.
- Highlight the deprivation of local job, crimes committed by foreign workers, crimes committed by marginalized groups.
- Highlight how BN's policies lead to rising crime rate.