‘Conduct ops against street kids regularly’
12 January, 2007
Kota Kinabalu: Wednesday’s major integrated operation to clean the city centre of street children, the mentally unsound, beggars, illegal street peddlers as well as car wash boys has received the thumbs-up. In welcoming the crackdown, they hoped the local authority and government agencies would carry out such exercises more often and, if possible, extend it to the city outskirts where such problems are much more serious than in the city centre. Sembulan Neighbourhood Watch Security, Social and Anti-Narcotics Chairman, Sirad Haji Tugimin, also commended those involved in the exercise. "But if they don’t it regularly, things will come back to the exact situation before. So it is best if we can have it done more regularly for the safety and benefit of all including tourists," he said. The operation led by City Hall’s Enforcement Director Mukti Muchlis, from noon till 10pm, saw more than 100 people being rounded up for further action. The exercise, concentrated on the Segama, Sinsuran, Kampung Air and Kota Kinabalu Proper (Gaya Street) areas, involved more than a hundred officers and personnel from City Hall’s Enforcement Department, Police, Rela, Immigration Department, Customs Department, Federal Special Task Force, Hospital Mesra Bukit Padang, Resettlement Unit of the Chief Minister’s Department and the Welfare Services Department. The exercise was also meant to show that the local authority and government agencies are concerned and want to ensure the city is safe and free of such inhabitants, particularly during this Visit Malaysia Year. Hoping the authorities would also include foreigners involved in the pirate public transportation sector as their future targets, Sirad said this is because the problem is worsening and may give a bad image to the local transportation services. He also urged City Hall to ensure that cleanliness at city parks and public toilets is maintained all the time, besides lighting up dark alleys.
"We also hope there will be more deployment of tourist policemen on the city streets so that the tourists as well as public will feel safe when having a stroll especially at night," said Sirad.