Friday, February 28

Public outcry over spate of crime in central region

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BINTULU: A wave of fear and apprehension is sweeping through the central region of the state following two recent murders in Sibu.

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said through a press statement yesterday he had received hundreds of calls and text messages from members of the public expressing their concern over the deteriorating security in their area. Many of the messages spoke of a spell and calm and peace following the police operation Ops Cantas Kenyalang which curbed the activities of gangsters in the region.

They said gangsters were stepping up their activities with seeming impunity. The complainants brought to his attention cases of gangsters employing illegal immigrants to tap rubber in gardens and estates that do not belong to them and more recently they have been operating computer gambling outlets openly under the nose of the police.

“I have forwarded all these messages to BN Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengju Mansor for his attention, and Tengku Adnan has brought them to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. We want a thorough check on these; we do not want the people to live in fear again.”

“I have received complaints from Sibu, Sarikei and other smaller towns. Some owners have apparently reported their cases to the police, but it seems the police’s investigation led to nowhere.”

He said there were also claims of gangsters forcing owners to sell latex at lower market prices.

Tiong alleged that there had been cases of gangsters looking up the complainants after they lodged their reports. Apparently, he said, information in police stations were leaked out.

Tiong, who is also the chairman of BN Backbenchers’ Club, said as SPDP liaison officer of Chinese affairs, he had been collecting the complaints of the people.

He said the police could not brush aside these allegations by saying they were untrue, as allegations did not just pop out from thin air.

“The police need to launch a thorough investigation to ensure all things concerning security are put in the right place.”

On computer gambling, he hoped police in towns where these illegal activities were openly held would explain to the people what had gone wrong – how these illegal gambling centres could be operated openly.

He said speculations were rife the murder of businessman Lau Leh Hing was linked to gangsterism and illegal computer gambling.

He said there were wild public allegations that the murder was the result of a turf war as an underground ‘Tai Koh’ (Big Brother) was stepping down.

He wanted the police to let the people know the outcome of their probe.

“Do not sit on these allegations, or else, it will be too late to handle in future if they are true.”

Tiong called on public members to bring their complaints out to the open and not to suffer silently.