In a statement, MIC vice-president C Sivarraajh cited a report by the Science and Wellness Organisation (SWO), which said that 72 per cent of Malaysian gang members are Indians, a total of 28,926 Indians have been identified as gang members, and the community had the highest rate of gangsterism in the country.
The study suggested that several factors, including poor parental guidance, apathy among the community and socio-economic backgrounds were the main causes of the sorry state of events.
Among the initiatives put up by Sivarraajh include increasing the intake of Indian officers to the Royal Malaysian Police's (PDRM) special investigations department or D9, reviving three now-defunct elite police teams, identifying and investigating the "leakages" within the police, and identifying and assisting students showing tendencies of being part of crime groups.
"Although overcoming this problem would require long-term government effort, I strongly feel that immediate attention should be given to these four aspects," he said, before presenting the four suggestions.
Incorporate More Indian Officers Into D9Firstly, increasing the intake of Indian officers into D9 could help PDRM obtain a better and more comprehensive picture of gangsterism in the Indian community, he said.
"The implementation of such a policy played a key role in reducing crime among Indians for several years during and after the OPS Cantas period.
"However, the policy's implementation was reduced following the involvement of several Indian police officers in organised crime. I believe it's time for PDRM to stop generalizing all Indian police officers based on the past action of some rogue ones," he said.
Sivarraajh then proposed the revival of three elite police teams, namely the Special Task Force On Organised Crime (STAFOC); Special Tactics and Intelligence Narcotics Group (STING); and Special Task Force for Anti-Vice, Gambling and Gangsterism (STAGG), which were disbanded under the Pakatan Harapan administration following claims that some of its officers worked in cahoots with gangsters.
"These three elite teams made immediate impacts after their respective establishments. Unfortunately, their success stories came to an end after the 14th General Election when the Harapan government disbanded them based on rumours.
"Nevertheless, the units' effectiveness in combating organized crimes, narcotic crimes and gangsterism is undeniable. As such, I propose the Home Ministry to look into the possibility of reviving the three units to address the alarming increase of organized crimes in not just the Indian community, but generally as well."
Thirdly, the Home Ministry should look into plugging the leakages within the police force, as no crime can survive without inside help from certain rogue cops, he said.
"This is not mere assumption but has been proven over the years with the arrest certain high-ranked police officers arrested for working with syndicates.
"The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) might prove to be a effective solution, but it is strongly opposed by the cops themselves due to several factors. Hence, it is now up to the the Integrity and Standard Compliance Department of PDRM to ensure that leakages within the department are identified and thoroughly investigated," said Sivarraajh, adding that this initiative, however, needs strong political will and concerted efforts between the government and the opposition.
Intervene EarlyLastly, the Home Ministry and the police should work with the Education Ministry to identify school students who show the tendency of being part of crime groups, while still in school, he said.
"These students have different backgrounds, and most importantly, different reasons leading them to be inclined towards gang activities.
"We must first identify and understand the reasons before we can intervene. For example, we cannot use counselling to help a youth who has gotten into gang activity due to poverty. What could help is a decent job opportunity for the youth or their parent," said Sivarraajh.
"Only with such comprehensive approach can we overcome gang inclination at the early stage."
According to Sivarraajh, the government and the police should seriously consider implementing the plans he has put forward, in order to contain the issue of Indians in gangsterism.
Photo source: Astro Awani