Nowadays, crimes are increasing day by day in Malaysia especially in major cities like Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Johor Bahru. Many Malaysians are concerned about the rising crime in the country. “Crime is an illegal action or the omission of a duty that is violated by a public law and that cause the offender responsible to punishment by that law” (Walter J., Moshe Z., 1999). The crime index of Numbeo by country 2018 for Malaysia is 63.05 which is ranked 15th in world and 1st in South-Eastern Asia. That is an unimaginable number considering they collected data from over 115 countries in the world. Although the crime index goes down from 64.75 (2017) to 63.05 (2018), but it remains as the top one in the list of South-Eastern Asia (Numbeo, 2018). This shows the perception of safety in Malaysia remains low. Crime can be divided into many types such as robbery, rape, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and others. These are caused by many factors such as poverty, family background, and peer influences.
Poverty is one of the factors of the crimes. Generally, poverty is divided into two types which are absolute poverty and relative poverty. “Absolute poverty occurs when people cannot obtain enough resources to support a minimum level of physical health while relative poverty occurs when people do not enjoy a minimum level of living standards as determined by a government” (C├ęsar C., 2016). “The incidence of poverty in Malaysia reduced essentially from 3.8% in 2009 to 1.7% in 2012. The number of poor households has decreased by 52.7%, from 228, 400 to 108,000 in 2012. However, the unemployment rate remains at 3.4% while the poverty rate is decreased” (Official portal of Department of Statistics Malaysia, 2018). This means that many Malaysian are facing the problem of unemployment. Poverty can led people to perpetrate crime because they are desperate for basic needs. The jobless person cannot get money to purchase primary needs such as food, water, shelter, and clothing. Their poverty forces them to choose the easiest way, committing crimes like robberies and thieves. This problem might be a motivation to perpetrate a crime to feed oneself or look after family through tough times.
Besides, family background is classified as a principal cause of crimes. A faulty family background will give negative influences for their children and provoke them to become offenders in the future. “The adults need to take care children in the family during the important critical period that occurs early in children’ lives in order to help them learn the social skill and prevent any aggressive behaviour” (Rolf, L., David, P. F., and David, P., 2003). The home violence gives the negative impacts for children because their children will be hurt emotionally by the conflict between parents and some of the children have been exposed to violence in home. They will live in an emotional world and have been given no help in understanding their circumstances. The recent rising trend in single-parent households becomes a crucial role in the propagation of crime because young children desire belonging to a complete family. The absence of a father will force the children to imagine and form the characteristics of men in their future by themselves. Many youths, especially young men, have been deluded into undoubting that joining a gang and involving in crimes, is the way to show themselves as man. There are numerous youths growing up with erroneous ideas of manhood which are ideas that turn around crime, aggression, and viciousness. This has generated many crime cases among the youths. The collapse of parents to guide, monitor, and control their children’s habits also leads their children to involve in the crime. The failure of parents to guide their children within the right ways will let children be attracted effortlessly into indecencies such as crime, aggression, and prostitution although the children have a complete family. In Malaysia, the offenders usually had a faulty family background when they were young. The parents should have responsible to provide good family background for their children to prevent them from becoming offenders of crimes.
Furthermore, peer influences are one of the strongest and sturdy correlates to crime. Aggressive crimes committed by young people have enhanced concern about youth violence in Malaysia. Peer influences remain a significant cause of youth violence. Youth who has low-quality of self-discipline will have a high chance to take part in aggression action because they are influenced by their peers easily and will not reject the invitation of their friends to involve in crime. The involvement in violent activities can be a tool for picking up amassing participation, getting the regard and interest of peers, or as a way to installation autonomy from the grown-up world. The involvement in gang members is the most serious level of peer influence. “Gangs have been determined as a group of people that advocate violent actions by their peers. Youth who have a poor family connection, have friends or siblings who are in gangs or be looking for excitement and fun will be more vulnerable to the lure of gangs” (Jennifer S., 2015). These youths ordinarily join gangs to feel acknowledged, achieve status, and increment their self-esteem. Once as a member of a gang, youth are more likely to be included in criminal activities, be dropped out of school, be suspended, and gotten to be casualties of savagery. Thus, it’s distinct that peer influences play a significant role too in the propagation of crimes in Malaysia.
In a nutshell, crime is a critical issue with some causes and negative effect on society. There are a lot of factors can be caused crimes such as poverty, family background and peer influence. These will lead to some crime events like robbery, rape, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and others. The rate of crime can be decreased by controlling the entry of illegal foreigner to reduce the unemployment rate of Malaysia and organizing campaign and counselling in preventing crimes especially for the youth because they will be influenced easily by their peers and involved in crimes. Thus, some solutions and precautions are needed to take for reducing the index of crime and increasing safety index in Malaysia.
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