Tuesday, June 17, 2008

High food, fuel prices may spur crime

Tuesday June 17, 2008 MYT 1:09:35 PM

High food, fuel prices may spur crime


KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is concerned that high fuel and food prices, as well as a downturn in the economy, could cause a surge in crime, including human trafficking.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia's borders were porous and syndicates from poorer countries could try to enter the country to look for an alternative way to "earn a living criminally". "Even domestically, if there is a lot of unemployment then crime will be higher than usual," he told reporters on Tuesday after opening the 8th Asean senior officials meeting on transnational crime.

Syed Hamid said the situation must be managed both on the economic and enforcement side to prevent crime from "inundating our lives (so much so) that we don't have safety or security."

"We must tackle it so that it does not become a problem for the country," he said.

The Government announced a 41% hike in petrol prices earlier this month.

On the planned July 5 anti-fuel hike demonstration, Syed Hamid said demonstrations were not going to solve the problem of high fuel prices because it was an international phenomenon.

"Fuel prices are not going to go down. What we should do is work together to find the best way to live under these new circumstances," he said.

He said people should not take to the streets as this would cause hardship to others.

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