Bintulu MP Dato Seri Tiong King Sing called on the goldsmiths in town not to consider giving cash awards to public members for catching thieves red-handed in jewelry snatching.

In a press statement yesterday, he said he did not encourage public members to tackle criminals alone.

“A more constructive way is to fight crimes with the police, and when a thief or other criminals are caught, hand them over to the police immediately for further action.”

Tiong, who is also the chairman of the Back Bencher Club and a Justice of the Peace, said he did not understand why the goldsmiths had resorted to such a desperate means by offering cash for catching thieves.

“If there is any frustration over the security in town, trash it out with the police. Join hands to work with them in maintaining law and order.”

He said he would propose the goldsmiths to hold a dialogue with the police because the police were the one in authority over the execution of criminal offences.

Tiong was saddened that such a proposal of cash award had come when he was not in town, as he is attending the parliamentary sitting now.

He expressed deep concern over how members of Bintulu Goldsmith Association had felt over the town’s security, adding that he had talked to the police in Bintulu after he learnt of the proposed cash awards.

In tackling crimes, Tiong discouraged public members to become violent in beating up a thief.

“This will amount to taking the law into our own hand. The best way is still to hand a criminal to the police immediately.”

He felt that for snatching thefts in town, like when a thief on the prowl snatching a gold item from a victim, it would be unfair to blame the police wholly.

He also suggested to goldsmiths to record the particulars of those selling gold items to them, especially those with suspicious characters.