Tear down gated communes, Pua dares Hisham

By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — DAP lawmaker Tony Pua has challenged Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to dismantle guarded communities in Selangor after the home minister rejected the state government’s offer to form an auxiliary police team.

Hishammuddin had said there was no need for such a force as current measures have been successful in reducing crime in the state.

Pua, however, claimed today that the drop in crime rates were due to efforts by Selangor residents in forming guarded communities.

“As a result of residents taking action into their own hands and paying hundreds of ringgit annually, they have managed to contain the level of crime,” he said in a statement.

The DAP national publicity chief said Hishammuddin should order the removal of “technically illegal” security barricades, boom gates and guardhouses that have mushroomed in recent years if he was confident in the effectiveness of the existing police force. The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said the Selangor government decided to “tolerate” the use of barriers despite their illegality because it empathised with residents’ safety fears and respected their right to protect themselves.

The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) decided last month to defer indefinitely enforcement of its guarded community guidelines following objections from residents associations who fear the guidelines may lead to the removal of barriers and boom gates they deemed necessary.

Pua then slammed Hishammuddin for calling the auxiliary police team unconstitutional, as there is no provision in the Federal Constitution barring the formation of such a force.

He characterised the minister’s reasoning as “completely lame” and irresponsible, accusing Hishammuddin of putting politics before the safety and security of those living in the opposition-led state.