August 14, 2013
Gangs going public to feel ‘macho’
Secret societies are becoming more open and bold in brandishing their acts via social media.
The traditional handshakes and code words used among the secret societies have now been replaced with more open and bold vows displayed on the social media by this generation gangsters.
The gangsters openly display their gang name and logos. Some even receive huge support from their peer groups or gang members. The abuse of spiritual logos by the secret societies is becoming rampant, for example, the swastika emblem is associated with Gang 21 and the “om” symbol with Gang 36.
Secret societies that are popular in Facebook and Youtube are 04, 21, 1804 Kaigelz, and Gang 36 which also known as ‘Bob Marley’. Some of these gangs openly display their gang’s logo during funeral processions of their members or leaders; and further upload their videos on Youtube.
According to criminologist Sundramoorthy, the change of behaviour in becoming bolder is due to decaying moral values among gang members. “This generation gang members are not bothered when they publish their acts, as long they get highlighted and obtain more support. This makes them feel stronger,” Sundramoorthy told FMT.
The criminologist from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) also stated that some of these gang members are passive but joined the gang just to feel they are in an upper elite gangster society.
Only the active gang members involve themselves in criminal activities such as drug distribution, kidnapping, extortion and so on. To curb this trend, Sundramoorthy suggests that the Police take a proactive approach in curbing the increasing numbers of secret societies.
“Through intelligence gathering and criminal database updates, the Police should do more in preventing this increasing culture among the gangs,” added Sundramoorthy. He also added that tolerance should be minimal and police should not think twice to act on this menace.
Glamour and Security
Meanwhile, HELP University College’s Centre for Fraud Management & Institute of Crime and Criminology director Akbar Satar is of the opinion that these generation gangsters are emulating the acts displayed by overseas’ gangsters.
“It is a common trend followed whereby American gangsters display their gang names and activity on Youtube and Facebook,” said Akbar. He also added that emerging of new platform technologies is abused and it helps the gang to recruit members online as well as help them promote their existence.
Meanwhile, criminal psychologist S Niraj added that social media such as Facebook being used by gangs was no longer a secret.
“The main reason for exposing gangs in Facebook is because of ‘identity’. In psychology and sociology, identity is a person’s conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliation,” said Niraj. He also added that since these youngsters associated themselves with a gang, they feel glamorous and secure.
“Through Facebook, gangs are able to post their activities, show their strength and indirectly use as a tool for membership drive. By adding friends in Facebook, members feel there is a security,” added Niraj.