Crime fears go viral in M'sia, upping pressure on authorities' response
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - The fear of crime is soaring in Malaysia as personal tales of abduction, assault and robbery go viral online, upping pressure on authorities to respond and triggering scrutiny of official claims that offences are down.
Shopping malls and residents' groups have launched patrols, sales of security equipment are surging, newspapers offer tips on how to avoid becoming a victim and social media are abuzz with anguish over the situation.
Residents of the multi-ethnic Muslim-majority country - one of the most developed and stable in South-east Asia - have long complained about bag-snatching and other petty crime.
But more serious recent incidents have gained wide attention on the Internet, channelling public concern in a country where nearly half the population of 28 million is on Facebook.