COLOMBIA is an independent country in South America and Klang is a city or commercial hub in Peninsular Malaysia. It is unfair to compare a country in South America with a city in Peninsular Malaysia.
Even in Colombia there are some conspicuous crime-prone hot spots, definitely not engulfing the whole country.
The city of Medellin was once an infamous drug cartel hotspot in Colombia. It was the headquarters of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar whose income was greater than that of the country of Columbia.
Due to political changes in the recent past, the city has emerged as a modern metropolis bagging international awards for public transport and environmental sustainability.
I am sure if Klang is compared to Medellin, despite the latter’s ugly past, Medellin is far ahead of Klang in terms of infrastructure, public transport and environmental management. Maybe Klang has much to learn from the development experience of Medellin.
Moreover, Klang’s history likely differs significantly from that of Colombia or Medellin.
Comparing the past struggles of Colombia to Klang’s present situation would be inaccurate and unfair. While Klang may not have encountered identical levels of crime as Colombia, it still contends with issues such as robberies, gangsterism and various other crimes.
Drawing comparisons between countries and cities solely based on their experiences with crime fails to acknowledge the positive impact of policies and measures that have improved the quality of life for residents.
Straddling between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Columbia is a beautiful country with breathtaking natural beauty. Latin American countries were the first to receive political independence because of the earlier establishment of colonial rule, both under Spain and Portugal.
Of course, the crime rate is much higher in Colombia and in other South American countries than in Malaysia. But it is wrong and unthinking to cast a collective negative aspersion on Columbia entirely.
Some cities are more crime-prone than others. The crime rate might be high in Klang in comparison with other cities in Malaysia. There is no need to lose sight of the history of the city.
Furthermore, the declaration of Klang as the Royal City is an admission of the long history of the city, its royal connectivity, and presently how the city serves as a metropolis for other satellite towns such as Pandamaran and Port Klang.
Terming Klang as another “Colombia” is not only wrong but very misleading.
Colombia as a nation, is not caught in a time warp but is fast changing to meet the needs of its citizens.
Klang today cannot be the “Colombian past” simply because there is no basis for comparison. – Feb 9, 2024
Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main photo credit: NST