Article contributed by Anusha Gopala Krishnan, Officer, Safer Malaysia Committee, and photos by Sarah Kambali, Member of the Bar
On 16 Mar 2015, the Bar Council Safer Malaysia Committee (“Committee”) was invited by NTV 7’s Bella for an interview entitled “Making Malaysia a Safe Haven for Children and Families”. Bella is a prominent talk show featuring a diverse mix of celebrity interviews, audience participation and daily segments.
Bella is aimed at aspiring women who are — among others — starting or managing businesses, running for political office, leading large corporations, fighting for causes, caring for parents and children, overcoming unexpected challenges and making their mark in society.
The show was hosted by Lisa Wong and was divided into two segments. The first segment featured Dato Dr Amin Khan, Director of National Key Results Areas (“NKRA”), Performance Management and Delivery Unit (“PEMANDU”); and Richard Wee Thiam Seng, Co-Chairperson of the Committee. The focus of the first segment was largely on the landscape of crime in Malaysia. The speakers explained that although crime rates have declined over the last five years, members of public still feel unsafe. The speakers feel that this discrepancy must be addressed.
Among the initiatives taken to battle crime is by educating the younger generation on delinquency and crime. The Committee has embarked on a project with emphasis on educating children about crime. The Committee aims to promote safety awareness in children through this project. Among others, this project offers guidance for parents, and provides information and solutions to common crimes against children. Parents are also given handy safety tips as well as pointers on how to effectively exercise parental control.
The long-term goals of this project are to introduce crime awareness in schools across the country to educate children on crime, and to raise crime awareness among this group. The final objective is to convince the Ministry of Education to adopt this project and implement it on a national level so that crime awareness can be raised among the students. PEMANDU is working very closely with the Committee to make this project a reality.
At the end of the first segment, the speakers briefly described the endeavours that have been taken by their organisations to battle crime. The Committee raises awareness mainly through crime prevention workshops and talks.
The speakers that spoke in the second segment were Sarah Kambali, Committee Member; Mark Soh, Committee Member and Co-Founder of Malaysian Crime Awareness Campaign; and Fong Peng Lim, Committee Member.
The second segment centred on the aspect of vigilance and how to instil this element into children. The speakers shared innovative ideas and useful tips for parents to utilise in order to train their children to be more alert to their surroundings.
The speakers also reiterated that parents play an important role in creating crime awareness among children, and that parents should be careful not to intimidate the children in the process of educating the children. The teaching process should be fun and firm at the same time.
In a nutshell, crime prevention is a very long process but it is not improbable. The Committee envisions a safe environment for everyone and this can be achieved through the concerted effort of all segments of the society.
The full interview can be accessed here: