Serial shootings put laid-back Malaysia on edge
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A wave of lethal shootings is rattling normally laid-back Malaysia and raising fresh doubts about the ability of the much-maligned national police force to protect the public.
Malaysians and foreign residents alike have long complained of burglars, bag-snatchers and other petty criminals operating with apparent impunity in the otherwise peaceful multi-ethnic nation.
But near-daily gun violence in recent weeks in a country with tough firearms restrictions has sown fear and confusion, and triggered a weekend police crackdown widely considered long overdue.
"To be honest, I am really scared," said French expatriate Marthe Buffiere, 29, whose hand was nearly severed last month in a mugging by two knife-wielding assailants in an upscale Kuala Lumpur neighbourhood. "The image of wealth and safety here is totally untrue."