Inhumane Crime
Sunday, November 14, 2004
I was taken aback when I learnt that snatch theft victim, Sanorfizah Salleh, had succumbed to her injuries, last Wednesday. Such deaths should not have happened, what more to a helpless pregnant woman. She was 31. The expectant mother was attacked in Johor Baru, while on a motorcycle. Two men on another motorcycle came from behind and one of them snatched Sanorfizah's handbag from her bike's front carrier. Her ordeal didn't end there. One of the riders kicked her motorcycle, causing her to lose her balance and fall. Her head hit the road divider and, she fell unconscious.

Doctors had to perform a Caesarian section to save her son, and other operations to remove a blood clot in her brain. Sanorfizah died without regaining consciousness 20 days after the incident. This year's Hari Raya could not taste any bitter for her husband, Azhar Ali, and her 6 children, including three-week-old Amirul Naim.

Snatch thefts are occuring more often than ever before. It could be the media hype, it could be the police report - Let alone unreported cases. The police should make things easier for victims who wish to make a police report. Time and again we hear things like "Kawasan itu bawah Shah Alam, I syorkan you pergi ke HQ di sana". What happened to computers? Aren't all stations linked in some network or something? Can't a police report be conveniently lodged near our residential area? My sis, for one, was a victim of 2 snatch thiefs more than a year ago. She was threatened with a knife of about 30cm, right outside my car porch. Thankfully, she was not harmed as she handed over to them her pouch, as requested - containing a few ringgits and her handphone. To lodge a report is a hassle in Malaysia. Susah is the word in Malay. Mafan is the word in Chinese.

My mom was once a victim too, also about a year ago. This goes to show how common snatch thefts have become in our country. Losses included cash, handphone, driving license, identity cards, ATM cards... everything. Mom put up a struggle before being pushed to the ground. She suffered some bruises as a result of that. Ask any family and they'll tell you that they, too, or relatives, colleagues or friends, were once snatch theft victims. It is quickly becoming our country's most popular crime, another one being rapes. What's worse is that, these incidents even take place in broad daylight. Aren't they afraid of being caught, recognized, or chased? I guess it doesn't take balls to commit a crime in broad daylight these days - just cover your face, change your motorbike number plate, do snatch-and-dash, and you're off. Criminals just aren't afraid anymore.

For Sanorfizah, having her handbag snatched was bad enough. The kick was certainly not necessary! It caused her her death. Such cowardly acts committed on a pregnant woman. Beasts. Rapes and snatch thefts are becoming a trend. Run-arounds during the process of lodging a police report don't help. Lenient punishments don't help. Unfriendly policemen don't help. (More often than not, if no important documents were lost, a victim may not even lodge any report.). It's epidemic.

Education might be the key to counter these crimes. But then again, looking at the youths, the 18-year-olds who hid weapons in their NS camps, I doubt that the situation will be any better in the future, anyway.
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