'Help us curb gangsterism': Police

Hariz Mohd

MOST secondary school students linked to secret societies have yet to become initiated gang members, investigations revealed.

However, not amused by triads’ recruitment of teenagers, the federal police are calling for all stakeholders to play their role to prevent gangsterism from corrupting Malaysian youths.

Federal police Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh said secret societies set their eyes on students to prepare the youngsters as their future cadres.

“What these triad gangs were doing was recruiting new members to fill the low ranks, who would serve as their runner and who they can order around.

“They target teenagers as these youths are vulnerable and can be easily influenced to join their groups.

“Eventually, the youth will be initiated into their gangs and used to run their illegal activities like extortion and fighting for the group,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

He was commenting on the ongoing police crackdown against secret societies, especially those that recruit teenagers, following recent viral videos showing students flexing their gang affiliations while creating chaos in front of a school in Klang near here.

Mohmad said while the situation was not very serious, where authorities found that only some schools had been penetrated by secret societies, mostly in the Klang Valley area, all parties must come together to prevent the problem from snowballing.

The Malaysian communities must move away from being individualistic, he stressed.

“The problem today is that many Malaysians are becoming more individualistic... Every
family only takes care of their own.

“We used to
say ‘jangan jaga
tepi kain orang
’ (mind your own business).

“This is becoming a cancer in our society. It is the time for us to move away from this.

“We must be busybodies and have social awareness, and take note of what is happening around us and help the authorities.

“It is crucial to prevent the problem at its early stage.”

Mohmad said schools must be more transparent and work together with police when they find gangsterism among their students, while parents must be
concerned of their children’s activities after schooling hours.

For students, Mohmad said they could also play their role by notifying their school administration or authorities if they find their peers were being influenced by negative elements.

This, he added, could be done anonymously if the students were afraid of repercussion by using the complaint boxes available at all schools.