KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s association of professional criminals, Persatuan Penjenayah dan Penjahat Malaysia (PERJAHAT) has recently emerged to voice its concern of the proposed Private Bill on Hudud. As anticipated, PERJAHAT is strongly against the enforcement of any Hudud Laws in Malaysia as it will negatively impact the Malaysian crime industry.
In an exclusive interview with its President, Mr Ketua Penyamun was furious that local criminals were not consulted in the Hudud issue. “Nobody took into account our opinion on this, even though we are likely the most affected party,” said Mr Penyamun. He added, “We are against Hudud as it would punish our members just for ‘doing their job’. How are we supposed to make a living and feed our family?”
Mr Penyamun added that ideally, PERJAHAT would want crime to go unpunished. “We are currently threatened with hefty fines, jail terms and even strokes of the rotan. The severe punishment under Hudud Laws would certainly cause us to close shop,” he said. Besides that, the association also highlighted various perils that a criminal faces. “Your job is never easy. Imagine being shot at by the police during a bank heist. If you get injured in the line of duty, you cannot just pop into a local 1Malaysia clinic and get subsidised medical treatment for your bullet wounds. In addition, we are not covered by Socso or EPF. There is not even an insurance or takaful product that covers our activities!” exclaimed Mr Penyamun.
On the proposal to implement Hudud only for Muslims, his initial response was quick and short, “It’s outright discriminatory.” He then proceeded to explain, “We have never discriminated against others. Our members consist of Malays, Chinese and Indians. We also have expats coming from South America, Eastern Europe and Africa performing high tech jobs such as high profile kidnapping, ATM skimming, love scams and black money. Besides that, when we do our job, we do not differentiate our victims based on their religious creed or skin colour. Everyone in Malaysia is a possible victim. And that’s fair!”
Mr Penyamun also vehemently denies claims that criminals do not contribute to the nation’s development, “We are not ‘sampah masyarakat’. Although we don’t pay income taxes, the government benefits from downstream business activities related to the crime industry.” He highlighted the recent increase in the number of private security firms in Malaysia. “That is a multi-million ringgit industry,” he claims. “These businesses pay taxes to the government. In addition, the government also collects levy from every Nepali, Bangladeshi and Pakistani security guard brought into the country. If it wasn’t because of us, they would not make a lot of money and that’s one less source of income for the government,” he clarified.
In dealing with the current Hudud issue, PERJAHAT has outlined several action plans as approved during its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM). “Firstly, we will lobby both state and federal governments against Hudud. Next, we will team up with various parties that will protect our rights to kill, maim, rape, rob and steal. Thankfully, today we have the likes of DAP, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and Bar Council. They truly recognize and defend our need to commit crimes as part of basic human rights,” said Mr Penyamun.
If the Kelantan state government proceeded with the enforcement of Hudud Laws, Mr Penyamun explains with a sad note, “Then we have no choice but to impose an industry wide boycott of the state of Kelantan. Thankfully, there are 12 other states and 3 federal territories in Malaysia”. Arrogantly, he added, “Let’s see how the people of Kelantan suffer when criminals like us are off the streets.”
The exclusive interview ended with a stern warning from the President of PERJAHAT, “Hudud has no place in modern Malaysia. If the whole country decides to implement Hudud, we will migrate elsewhere, perhaps to a more liberal country that will accept our values. We will bring our criminal expertise overseas and this surely contributes to another wave of brain drain.”
Fathullah Akmal Khalid