Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Something to share

From my colleague who was carjacked recently:

My name is *, wife to Mr Tan and mother to Jas. We are a simple family living at xx Jalan xx.
Moving into Bukit Prima fulfilled our life’s desire to live in a quiet, healthy and peaceful environment with a caring neighbourhood.
On the night of 9 February 2012, a horrific, life-threatening incident befell me which I know will impact my view of life for a long time to come. I want to share my experience with you, my fellow neighbours, to create awareness and hopefully give you enough reason to support our Bukit Prima Residents Committee in their tireless effort to improve the safety of our neighbourhood.
At 8.52 PM, as I turned into our main entrance road, having dropped off my daughter at her tuition centre, and cruised downslope to navigate across the road bump, I felt my car being bumped from behind.
Against my first instinct to just forget the incident, I looked into my rear mirror and saw the car behind me signaling to move to the side. My thoughts then shifted to that perhaps it’s one of residents as we were already within the neighbourhood and this is a closed road. With a mixture of slight annoyance, curiosity and acknowledging what I thought was a kind gesture on the part of the car driver to stop, I stopped and even came out of my car. THAT WAS THE MOST NAÏVE, STUPID, AND REGRETFUL ACTION I HAVE EVER MADE WHICH WILL STICK IN MY MEMORY FOR LIFE.
A burly Indian man emerged from their driver’s seat and moved towards me and another Indian man
put his head out of the co-driver’s seat, still politely but firmly telling his friend to ‘settle’. Before I could react in any way, the big man got into my car driver seat, a split second scuffle followed (my memory blurred out a bit here) and I found myself being shoved into the back seat as I screamed my lungs out.
I mustered all my strength to fight off the man, still screaming as the car screeched into moving gear. Very quickly I was overpowered, as my car was driven away, with me pinned down to the floor in the back seat, weakened both from the struggle and the effects of the taser gun the man used on me. I realized then that it was futile to fight back. I begged them to let me out and take the car.
My abduction lasted about 1 hour, during which time I was threatened with a parang to give them my ATM card, PIN Number and IC number. At one point, I was gagged and tied up, as they stopped at what appeared to be a meeting point. I heard many men shouting at each other, all in Tamil, I guessed about 4 to 6 men altogether. I was then dragged out of my car into another car. Having lost my glasses and weakened and terrified to my wits end, I simply submitted to all their demands. I was driven around again, being asked repeatedly for my ATM Pin and IC number with some sort of assurance that they would let me go after they get the money. My life hung on the balance for the next half hour (it felt like forever) as the parang was constantly in my face and I was warned of the consequences should the money failed to dispense from the ATM machine. Finally the phone call came, I was given back my purse with RM20 for taxi fare, and got pushed out into at the dark street.
Dazed but grateful for my life I finally got help from a kind, young Chinese man at nearby shop that I stumbled into. The rest is history.

Because I am fortunate enough to live to tell my story, I want to share my experience with the sincere hope that you will take away a couple of KEY MESSAGES.
1. THE POLICE TOLD ME THAT CARJACK CRIMES ARE INCREASING AT AN ALARMING RATE. THE ‘GANGS’ TEND TO TARGET SINGLE WOMEN OR OLDISH MEN DRIVING HIGH END CARS. TOYOTAS ARE ESPECIALLY POPULAR TOO. A BIG ‘KAJANG GANG’ OF 8 HAS JUST BEEN CAUGHT; MY CASE LOOKS LIKE THERE ARE SPLINTER GROUPS STILL OPERATING.

MESSAGE 1
IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, NEVER EVER STOP, LEAST OF ALL, GET OUT OF YOUR CAR, WHEN YOU ARE KNOCKED FROM BEHIND. JUST DRIVE AS FAST AS YOU CAN TO THE NEAREST POLICE STATION OR GUARDHOUSE OR ANYWHARE WHERE THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE. REMEMBER, NEVER GET OUT OF YOUR CAR.

2. SOMEONE CALLED YESTERDAY (10 Feb) TO LET US KNOW (MY DAUGHTER PICKED UP THE CALL) THAT A NEIGHBOUR’S MAID ACTUALLY HEARD MY SCREAMS AND SAW 2 INDIAN MEN, ONE HOLDING A PARANG. I WANT TO EXTEND MY THANKS TO THE NEIGHBOUR WHO GAVE ME THIS INFORMATION. UNFORTUNATELY, IT APPEARS THAT THE RESIDENTS WERE OUT AT THAT TIME AND THE MAID DID NOT KNOW WHAT DO.

MESSAGE 2
PLEASE IMPRESS ON YOUR FAMILY AND MAIDS, THAT, IF YOU WITNESS ANY SUSPICIOUS
ACTIVITY, PLEASE DO CALL 999 AND GIVE THEM THE LOCATION OF THE INCIDENT.
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