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Home Ministry plans the whip for snatch thieves
KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry is seriously considering imposing mandatory whipping on snatch thieves.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop said this was one of the measures being mulled to curb the scourge.

“The ministry is aware that ‘ragut’ is the number one crime in the country and we are seriously considering using mandatory whipping against these offenders,” he said during a meeting with representatives of the Malay-sian Crime Prevention Foundation yesterday.

The meeting was held to discuss the issue and to look at measures to tackle the problem.

The call for mandatory whipping for snatch thieves was first mooted by police 10 years ago. It resurfaced recently following a rash of cases which resulted in deaths or injuries.

In the latest case, Abdul Rahman Mohd Khadladin, 34, died of serious head injury when his motorcycle rammed a wall after a snatch thief kicked his moving machine while trying to snatch his wife Noriha Ahmad Rahman’s handbag early this month.

Noriha, 33, suffered broken arms.

Although whipping is provided under Section 379 of the Penal Code, it is not mandatory and most snatch thieves get away with a prison sentence.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s adviser and special officer Datuk Michael Chong, who was also at the meeting, urged non-governmental organisations to play a bigger role in combating crime, especially those involving young children like the murder of a girl found in a retention pond on Tuesday.

“We at the ministry have always taken criticisms from NGOs positively. But instead of criticising, the groups should also work with us to reduce crime,” he said.

In another development, a housewife Fong Mee Ling has sought Chong’s help to track her missing 15-year-old daughter.

Hoo Kiet Yee, the eldest daughter of three siblings, has been missing since Nov 17.

“This is the fourth time my daughter has disappeared. The first time was in 2006 when she was only 12. She came home after two days,” said Fong, 42.

Fong added that each time her daughter went missing, she would come back home on her own after stories on her disappearance were published in the newspapers.

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