Saturday August 18, 2012
Group conducts neighbourhood watch to safeguard empty houses during Raya
By M. KUMAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Technician Eng Chee Wai will not be sleeping for the few nights of Hari Raya.
Instead, he will patrol the streets around his neighbourhood to watch out for robbers and thieves.
Eng, 44, is part of the Selangor Community Policing Association, which will conduct patrols every night for 10 days to safeguard their neighbours' empty houses during the Hari Raya season.
The group, which patrols twice a week at various residential areas throughout Selangor, have pledged to patrol from Wednesday to Aug 25.
The Star caught up with a group of them during their patrol at Taman Wangsa Permai on Wednesday.
The group of about 30 people met in front of the Desa Jaya police station at 8pm before conducting the patrols.
Eng said he felt it was his duty to look after his neighbourhood and his neighbours' houses while they were away.
“We have to help each other. That is the only way for us to stay safe and secure,” he said.
Eng said the area had seen its share of crime before he joined the association about three months ago.
“Since then, there has been a significant reduction in criminal activities here,” he said, adding that he knew his Muslim neighbours would help look after his home when he was away during Chinese New Year.
As the members divided themselves into groups of five to six people and patrolled on foot and on motorcycles, the mood was light and everyone was joking and laughing but all of them understood the importance of their task.
Another community policing member, Ronnie Chin Peng Seng, 46, said the group foiled a robbery bid a week ago.
Mohd Radzi Nata, 27, who has been involved in community policing for over a year, was also present.
“I have to do my part too. Since I will not be going back to my hometown for Hari Raya, I want to help out,” he said.
After hours of patrolling the residential areas, the group decided to call it a night at around 2am.
Association founder Kuan Chee Heng said the public needed to play an active role in fighting crime.
“We cannot leave it up to the police alone as our homes are our responsibility too,” he said.