Plainclothes police to patrol MRT stations, says Loke

Anthony Loke speaks during a press conference at the Transport Ministry in Putrajaya February 20, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Anthony Loke speaks during a press conference at the Transport Ministry in Putrajaya February 20, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 20 — The Transport Ministry announced today a special task force to protect MRT passengers after a woman was violently robbed at an MRT station.

The ministry said some of its existing 1,300 auxiliary police will start patrolling the train stations in plain clothes and work while the stations are in operation.

“There are 1,300 existing auxiliary police and some will start working in plain clothes and they will start working throughout our operational hours,” Transport Minister Anthony Loke told the press here today.

“We take this matter very seriously and even Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail brought his matter up during Cabinet and has asked us to beef up security at the stations.”

Loke identified six stations as hot spots for crime. They are Batu 11, Bukit Bintang, Taman Maluri, Kajang, Taman Pertama Cheras and the Taman Mutiara Cheras, where the actual crime took place.

He said the ministry is planning to install additional security cameras in train stations that have car parks, while stating that the auxiliary police will focus on these hot spots as well as the remaining 115 stations.

“We’ve decided to provide better lighting at these car parks especially at night,” said Loke.

“This is to offer better security for users, especially women. Datuk Seri Wan Azizah told us that the women will lose faith in using trains since the incident and we need to reassure them it’s safe.

“The special police will patrol these hotspots as long as operations are ongoing and they will offer to walk users from the parking area to the train station.

“Anyone who needs help or is worried about their safety can approach any uniformed officer and ask them to walk with you so that you are safe,” added Loke.

To a question whether men who are scared can also get an escort, Loke said: “We do not discriminate based on gender but for security measures such as these, usually the priority is given to the ladies. However if the men need an escort they can always request it.”

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