Economic downturn may push up crime, says Syed Hamid

Posted by SM Maulana
KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — The severe global economic downturn predicted by UN economists this year and next year will inadvertently result in more transnational crime, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said today.

He said at a time when the economic outlook is grim, terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering and cyber crime may rise faster than average.

“I would not be able to give you numbers but research shows that the increase in crime is also related to the economic condition.

“When the economic situation gets worse, people will look to an alternative way to earn a living … (that is) criminally,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after opening the Eighth Asean Senior Officials Meeting On Transnational Crime (8th SOMTC) here.

On human trafficking particularly involving children, which is related to transnational crime, Syed Hamid said it was an exaggeration to say that Malaysia has become a hub for such activities.

He said the government was serious about tackling both issues and would continue its efforts to curb them even though the activities are “not that serious”.

On the annual meeting, Syed Hamid said it was an excellent platform for Asean to work together in combating transnational crime.

“You cannot be successful without collaboration, sharing expertise, intelligence and information. Malaysia took the lead in sea piracy and money laundering,” he said.

On the Asean protocol and extradition treaty, he said so far it was not in existence and these matters were previously handled bilaterally.

“Hopefully this will be ratified by everyone at the Asean Summit in Bangkok at the end of this year. We can work towards having a more transparent and accountable way of collaboration in transnational crime,” he said.

The 8th SOMTC from June 16 to 20 is organised by the Home Ministry with the support of the Asean Secretariat based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Among the issues discussed at the closed-door meeting were human trafficking and counter-terrorism, and a comprehensive plan draft. — Bernama


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