Petty Crime, Snatch Thefts Shatter Sandakan’s Peacefulness – Why?

The Bandar Kim Fung night market. Several snatch thefts are said to have taken place of late raising the concerns of the people as to their security. – Photo credit

COMMENT: It’s becoming apparent that the crime rate is on the rise in Sandakan.

Snatch thieves have once again made their presence at the Kim Fung market. There have been many reports of snatch thieves in Sandakan recently and that it is becoming rampant is indeed a serious trend to be worried about.

The snatch thieves have become more and more daring even though Sandakan used to be a peaceful town. Normally we only used to hear such cases of snatch thefts happening in West Malaysia, but now this sickening crime has also landed up to our shore, and worse still, in Sandakan.

The people of Sandakan are worried as snatch thefts have caused fatalities.


Police statistics on these crimes also indicate they are on the rise and it is a growing problem in the whole of Malaysia now.

There have been discussions in town on how we can prevent ourselves from falling victim to such crime.

I urge police to take full measures to curb with the rising crime rate in Sandakan, and at the same time, initiate a study to get to the root of the problem as to why more and more people resort to this despicable crime.

Mostly the blame goes to the drug addicts, poorly educated youth, culprits came from broken families, lack of moral and religious knowledge – the list goes on. Of course all these reasons given are very true indeed.

Saddened by the recent incident in Kim Fung has prompted me to analyse this one factor that might contribute to the rampant snatch theft incidents.

I believe that the bad economic situation in Sandakan has driven the person or persons in resorting to crime.

Unemployment is a known factor that motivates people to resort to easy means to survive. It is very unfortunate that they chose the option of committing crime.

For me, the economic well-being is one factor that can play an important role in reducing crime in Sandakan and Malaysia as a whole. I would like to see our government being more proactive in improving our economic well-being and tackling the problem by its horns.

Shirley Chien Moi Yin is Parti Warisan Sabah assistant coordinator for Batu Sapi