Najib pledges to clamp down on ‘brazen’ crime
PUTRAJAYA — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pledged yesterday that the police would clamp down on “brazen” crime as the authorities hunted for contract killers, who allegedly gunned down a bank founder in broad daylight in Kuala Lumpur.
Fuelling fears of rising violent crime, the death of Arab Malaysian Banking Group founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi, 75, on Monday came two days after an anti-crime activist was shot by unknown assailants at a traffic junction.
Mr R Sri Sanjeevan, head of a crime watch non-government organisation, MyWatch, was fighting for his life in hospital yesterday. In a third, recent high-profile case, a senior customs official was shot dead in April.
Mr Najib said yesterday: “I am very concerned with the latest incidents, where murders using firearms occurred in a very brazen manner. The police must take immediate action to restore public confidence and the government will provide whatever is necessary for them to enhance their capacity to fight serious and organised crimes.
“This matter can be brought up at the next Parliament session. We cannot allow the situation to persist.”
Opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said the killings threatened to damage Malaysia’s reputation. He said Malaysians have long complained about rising thefts and robberies, but crime now appears to be getting worse.
“It is really worrying for all Malaysians. The government must make fighting crime a top priority and band all resources to make the country safe again,’’ he said.
The police said yesterday that disputed property deals could have played a part in Mr Najadi’s killing, and that they believed three men were responsible for the attack.
“The shooter, we have his photo, but the men behind, we have to investigate. We believe the shooter is a contract killer,” Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh told reporters.
The government has claimed that crime has fallen in the past two years. But Mr Sanjeevan and opposition leaders, including Mr Lim, say the statistics have been manipulated by the authorities.