Article contributed by Marcus Low, Member, Safer Malaysia Committee and photos by Sarah Kambali, Deputy Chairperson, Safer Malaysia Committee
On 26 Apr 2015, the Bar Council Safer Malaysia Committee (“Committee”) conducted a talk and workshop at Universiti Sains Malaysia (“USM”) in Penang, for the sociology, criminology and anthropology students. The committee members involved were Darren Lai Xuenwei, Sarah Kambali and Marcus Low.
The first part of the event — the talk — began at 9:00 am with Darren Lai Xuenwei, who provided a brief background on the Safer Malaysia programme and its main objectives and aims. He also introduced the key elements of combating crime: vigilance, deterrence and prevention. The participants were then given three scenarios and were divided into groups to solve the conflicts in those scenarios.
Marcus Low continued the session by elaborating on the first element: vigilance. He gave examples and conducted interactive activities to improve the participants’ identification skills to enable them to brush up their powers of observation.
Following that, Sarah Kambali presented on the element of deterrence and gave a few examples of how to deter crime, and even related her personal experience to the participants.
For the third element, Darren Lai Xuenwei elaborated on the importance of policymaking and policy changes as important measures to crime prevention.
The workshop was conducted from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm where the participants presented their solutions to solve the scenarios given earlier. From the solutions, it was evident that the event was successful in making the participants aware of the importance of the three elements.
USM plans to invite the Committee to future safety-oriented events organised by the university. Jeganathan Kanusamy, USM lecturer, expressed that the event was an eye opener. Based on the feedback, the participants stated that they will now view combating crime and crimes itself in a different light, and realise the importance of preventing crime through the three elements.
The committee members concluded the event by reminding the participants to share the knowledge gained with their families and friends. By spreading awareness, the eradication of crime to a lower rate is possible.