Miri MP Michael Teoh believes that the quick police action in detaining suspects in the Bill Kayong murder case has resulted in a reduction in violent crime, at least for the time being.
“Now things are a bit calmer and people are not so apprehensive. At one time, many people didn’t dare go out at night,” Teoh told reporters.
Teoh, who is PKR’s sole MP in Sarawak, said there was a lull in crime levels not just in Miri but nationwide as well.
“You can see in the last two weeks there were no shooting cases, but around Bill’s time, there was practically one shooting case every two or three days in KL. You can see the result. You solve two or three cases together and the criminals begin to think twice, thinking they will be caught,” Teoh said.
Bill Kayong was shot dead in his car in June while at the traffic lights at the Kuala Baram by-pass in Senadin, Miri. A prominent land rights activist, Kayong had contested in Bekenu under the PKR banner in the Sarawak election in May.
About half a dozen people have been arrested and charged in connection to his murder.
“In Semenanjung, there has been a lot of shooting cases recently. And it’s because those people when they’re involved, when they are not arrested, then they know they probably can escape and so they will continue, because they feel their chances of escape are very high,” said Teoh.
He said prior to Bill Kayong’s murder, police action had been wanting, with up to four murder cases in Miri still unsolved. News reports about a declining crime level in Miri were not true, he said. Burglary victims no longer reported the crime because of a loss of confidence in the police.
“Local police must be more active in solving criminal cases, otherwise these people will get more bold and end up with (committing) more and more murders,” he said.