I recently received a picture of interesting road signs in several countries. Road signs are erected at the side of roads to provide information to road users. They can tell us some facts about a country:
Each road sign usually convey a simple message to road users. For example, Thailand is famous for elephants, Australia is popular for kangaroo. As for Malaysia, is it famous for snatch thieves?
When i first received this picture, i thought it was a joke. I of course laughed about it. I only realized that the 'Beware of Snatch Thief' road sign was real when i traveled along Jalan Telawi in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Bangsar is an affluence residential area of Kuala Lumpur. I see plenty of the road signs along Telawi area of Bangsar. They are real!!
This is surprising since Malaysia has been ranked by the Global Peace Index (GPI)’s 2011 report as the safest country in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region. Home Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein was blowing trumpet about it. Singapore is ranked the 2nd in SEA. While Singapore may be commonly known as a safe country in South East Asia, it is ranked behind Malaysia. Astonished? Well, there are experts who have doubts on this claim by GPI. Mr Ong Kian Ming, an academician and political scientist, did a detailed analysis on this claim and presented his views.
I have traveled to Singapore many times in recent years. I can understand how safe that country is. I have seen ladies, in public area like a pub or cafe, who leave their handbag on the chair and mobile phone on the table when they go to toilet. Their valuables are in tact when they return from toilet 10 minutes later. I know that Brunei is a oil rich country. Bruneians do not even have to pay personal income, sales or capital gains tax. In a nation this rich, naturally the crime rate must be low and the country is very safe. I find it hard to accept a claim that Malaysia is safer than Singapore and Brunei.
If we are that safe, why do we need 'Beware of Snatch Thief' road signs all over Telawi area, which is the heart of Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur?
Neither the pictorial description nor the wording is hinting a low crime rate scenario. The message of this road sign is not in anyway a mild warning to beware of snatch thief.
We should instead do what the Singaporean does. They put up signs saying that 'Low Doesn't Mean No Crime".
Do you agree with me?
If you have other experiences or knowledge on this. Please share here.