I was shock yesterday when I read the headline of United Daily News reporting that an Assistant Minister, Daud B Abdul Rahman was robbed in his house. I was even more shock when I read that the estimated value of the items robbed was about RM400,000.00,in cash, watches, jewelery and handphone. I have read through the papers in detail and did not find in the report, among the items robbed were TV sets or electrical appliances, which normally are the items of more value in any normal households.

If a person can have so much valuables in his house, one just wonders how much is he worth if we were to take into account deposits in bank, equity holdings, real property assets, bond units etc.

In this particular case, I think investigation should not only be confined to catching the robbers. Maybe other agencies also ought to be called in.

All citizens in our country are now living under the fear of robbery, violent crimes and theft. We no longer feel safe on streets and at homes. Break-ins and robberies are now daily news in all our mainstream papers.

To a great extent, the government of the day ought to be blamed for the breakdown in law and order. Crime happens when economy is bad. Governmenet policies are instrumental in shaping the economy. In Sarawak, too much wealth is concentrated in the hands of too few and only the ones that are well-connected, such that the commoners find it hard to make ends meet.

For the robbers, this break-in is a "jackpot". For the Assistant Minister, it serves as a warning bell and a taste of how the victims of crime felt when their houses are broken in. Given the rotten government policies, the commoners are powerless to change the system in short term. But as an assistant minister, I believe he is in a better position to change the system or at least to influence his colleagues in the administration to change the system.

One advice for Daud and the members of the administration: To restore law and order, we must have a radical change to the present system, especially government procurement process, so that the state's wealth are more equally and equitably distributed amongst the people.

Another piece of advice, for the robbers: If you really have to rob to live, don't take it on the commoners. Target at those who have RM400,000.00 or more in their houses. In this way, you just need to do one case and rest for a few years. In this way, also, the crime rates will reduce and less risk of been caught. In terms of legal point of view, robbing a VIP and robbing a commoner are crimes of the same degree.

Having said all these, the best course of action is still to earn your living in a legal way.