MPs voice need to prioritise drop in crime
NOTING that crime has not declined in recent years, members of the Pyithu Hluttaw urged the Union government to take more proactive measures to cut the crime rate yesterday.
“Pursuing sharp declines in crimes is very important for people who have been living in fear and without human rights,” said Pyithu Hluttaw MP Daw Khin Hnin Thit (NLD; Padaung), who submitted the proposal.
Measures are particularly important while hopes for the new government are high, she said.
Nationwide crime figures rose slightly between 2013 and 2014, she said. Murders rose from 1307 to 1333, rapes from 734 to 741 and burglaries from 4671 to 5229, she said.
“And crime did not decline in 2015,” she said. “In Yangon alone, there were 191 murders, 67 robberies, 92 rapes and 46 break-ins.”
She did not cite specific nationwide crime figures for 2015.
In 2016, since the new government took office, murders and rapes have not declined, she said. Traffic accidents are also on the rise, she said.
Criminality is driven by political, economic, social and moral factors, she said. Felonies, including drug cases, are the result of a lack of peace and rule of law, she said. Human-trafficking is on the rise due to lawlessness in Myanmar’s border areas and theft is rising due to poverty, she said. Unemployment leads to a rise in gambling, she claimed. Weak moral standards cause people to disregard traffic rules, she said, and that, in turn, causes more accidents.
“It is the job of the police to protect the innocent party and arrest the guilty party,” she said. “In Myanmar, there is one police officer for every 1000 people. That is just one-third of the international norm.”
Illegal timber and drugs are regularly seized but police still struggle to find and arrest the owners of the contraband, she said.
Pyithu Hluttaw MP Daw Khin Sandar (NLD; Launglon) seconded the proposal.
“If there is rule of law, crimes will be reduced, so parliament, which is a legislative body, should amend or abolish laws that are no longer appropriate for the present day as soon as possible. Parliament should also expand education about laws.”
The Pyithu Hluttaw accepted the proposal as there were no objections.
Police officers conduct a night-time patrol exercise near Sule Pagoda in downtown Yangon in 2013.