New law needed to solve violent crime

GEORGE TOWN: A criminologist has called for a new preventive law to tackle violent crime as criminals are now openly displaying their gang identity in public.

Assoc Prof Dr P. Sundramoorthy of Universiti Sains Malaysia said many triad members and recidivists (repeat offenders) had returned to their criminal ways after the repealing of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) last year.

He said the new law could be used to deal with those involved in gangland-style executions, extortion, gaming and robberies.

“The brains behind these activities are well-informed and they know how to go about undetected. They have ‘advisers’ to guide them,” he said.

Dr Sundramoorthy proposed that an independent body be set up under the new law to submit recommendations to the authorities after studying case files containing statements from key individuals.

“They can either recommend that the person be detained if a case could be established or recommend that no further action be taken.

“The final review and recommendation should come from them and not the Home Minister.

“Of course, the panel would have the right to redirect the case if it finds elements where the offenders can be charged under existing criminal laws,” he said.

Dr Sundramoorthy, who is principal researcher on crime and policing at the university, added that specific types of crime must be spelt out in the new law.

Dr Sundramoorthy said provisions must also be included to seize assets, property and cash belonging to criminals.

Agent provocateurs and low-ranking triad members could be roped in as witnesses to link the masterminds of syndicates, he said.

“Similar to the EO, the statements of these people (undercover and eyewitnesses) are vital for the independent body to decide on the fate of the masterminds.

“These masterminds are known to the authorities but the question is how to go about nailing them,” he said.


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