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April 02, 2020

A step in the right direction

There had been widespread speculation among the general public over the rise in crime rates linking a presidential pardon involving the release of some 7,000 prisoners. The president pardoned them on 30 July this year, which is the seventeenth amnesty he has given in nearly five years.
Every president during their tenure tends to give amnesty to prisoners in the hope that they would be able to participate in building the nation. On the one hand, pardoning prisoners can be seen as a magnanimous gesture, but on the other, bad people never hesitate to take advantage of presidential generosity, just as a leopard cannot change its spots.
Recently, people are alarmed with the news of some police attacked in a suburban area of Yangon on 2 September by thugs who went free in an amnesty. In addition, thuggish brutality has begun intense in big cities like Mandalay.
This crime wave has justifiably caused people to feel insecure about their safety in part because the police who are supposed to protect public security and property themselves have become innocent victims of crime committed by untamable ex-prisoners.
The onus is on the government and the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that presidential generosity is not a burden on local communities. Nevertheless, looking before we leap is a step in the right direction.


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