Beware the smash and grab robbers


PETALING JAYA: Smash and grab robbers are among the criminal threats faced by the average Malaysian driver today.

These menace on wheels prey on drivers when they stop at traffic light junctions by smashing the passenger side window of the car and grabbing valuables placed on the passenger seat.

Despite it not being a new ploy, people still continue to fall victim to such smash and grab robbers.

Statistics released by the Royal Malaysian Police showed that smash and grab cases are still contributing to the national crime index.

“Smash and grab cases which are classified as snatch theft cases, are a part of the 319 cases of snatch thefts recorded in May and June this year,” said the report.

The reason for this, said Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed, is that most people do not take the necessary steps to protect themselves from smash and grab robbers.

“The obvious one is that people should not place valuables like mobile phones and handbags on the passenger side seat while driving.

“However, there are still many who place valuables on the passenger side seat and make themselves easy targets,” he said recently.

ACP Arjunaidi said it was important for the people not to panic.

“Drivers have to be vigilant at all times and should not panic no matter what happens, so that they know how to respond to a situation,” he said.

Citing a videoclip he was shown recently of a man smashing a car window about 10 times without breaking the glass, he said the woman driver just stared blankly at the man.

“If she was alert and had not panicked, she could have shielded herself from harm and called the police or gone to a safe place,” he said.

He also said basic steps like always being aware of one’s surroundings and keeping valuables out of plain sight helped.

“Tinting windows can also help because the film could prevent the window from shattering easily which would hinder the thieves,” he said.

By M. KUMAR kumar@thestar.com.my The Star/Asia News Network

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MCA slams cinema ruling

SHAH ALAM: A controversial ruling by a district council in Selangor banning unmarried Muslim couples from sitting together in a cinema has been shelved, with the MCA slamming the use of religion in politics.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said he was shocked that Islamic values were imposed by the council.

He cautioned that friction among the people could happen in a multi-racial country like Malaysia should religion be used in politics.

Separately, the Kuala Selangor district council (MDKS) had been directed to put the ruling on hold immediately.

It is learnt that the decision was made by the MDKS full board council meeting in May.

MDKS councillor P. Thirumoorthy said the ruling was proposed by a councillor from PAS last year.

State executive councillor Ronnie Liu said the state government was not consulted before the decision was implemented recently.

“I only found out from the press. In other local councils, there is no such ruling. So I will ask the MDKS president to delay the ruling and bring it to the full board for further discussion,” he told a press conference yesterday.

A Chinese daily reported yesterday that the only cinema in Kuala Selangor had recently put up notices reminding patrons of the new ruling.

It is believed that cinema operators who did not abide by the ruling were informed that their licences would not be renewed.

A source from the Lotus Five Star cinema described the ruling as “unbecoming and unfair”.

“This has caused fear among Muslims and deterred them from coming to our place,” he said.

In Petaling Jaya, Selangor MCA Youth chairman Dr Kow Cheong Wei said the DAP kept emphasising the equal status of all parties in Pakatan, claiming that for a policy to be implemented, there had to be consensus by all three parties in Pakatan Rakyat.

“If this is truly the case, then why has this cinema gender separation proposal become law? Is this an act by a unified administration by Pakatan?” he said in a statement.

- The Star/Asia News Network

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