I’m sure you’ve heard enough about the economy playing a role in increasing the crime rate of a country. At first glance, it’s only logical to think so. Recessions lead to more retrenchments, and desperation leads to crime. Though in reality, the studies conducted seem to disapprove of this theory. Nonetheless, we should still not take this warning with a grain of salt.
Back in 2021, Mas Tina Abdul Hamid, the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia Berhad (VTREC) coordinator, said a vehicle is stolen every hour and 15 minutes in Malaysia. Although VTREC claims that the numbers have gone down over the years, in which proper enforcement and the lockdowns played a role, we might see a resurgence of car theft in Malaysia again.
One fun fact – did you know that the first-generation Proton Wira is the most stolen car in Malaysia at one point? For two consecutive years, back-to-back, our local hero, the Wira still retains that spot longer than any country holding more than one World Cup Championship title. Ask any Proton spare parts supplier and they’ll tell you that it’s hard to get ahold of genuine parts for a 17-year-old car today. That’s why any running Proton Wira’s on the road survives by making do with Mitsubishi parts, which are more easily sourced from Japan and a no-brainer to install.
After the Wira, the runner-ups are followed by the Iswara and Toyota Hilux. In fact, victims of car theft involve workhorses and reliable cars. According to VTREC, the Toyota Vellfire is the only luxurious car to make it on this list dating back to 2020. Don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet if your car isn’t on the list. No one can be truly safe from car thieves. Here’s how to prevent your car from getting stolen in Malaysia.
Like a switch on a battery-powered toy, a kill switch in your car is a cheap and effective aftermarket accessory you can install that is linked to the car battery. Often these small kill switches can be hidden inside the car via creative ways by yourself or with a workshop foreman. These kill switches can be found on Malaysia’s e-commerce platforms though they might take some skills and expertise to install.
Currently, the two common types of kill switches are the ignition wire and battery connect kill switch. The ignition wire operates by grafting a wire into the connection. When the switch is off, the electrical currents that were supposed to send signals to the engine to start the car get cut off when the kill switch is activated. Only switching it back on allows the current to run smoothly.
A battery-connected kill switch is pretty straightforward as it’s installed in the engine bay where the car battery is located. To engage and disengage the switch, you would need to pop the hood to flick it. While a battery-connected kill switch is well-discreet, popping the hood just to engage the switch every time you want to use the car can be a hassle. These simple kill switches can prolong the lifespan of your car battery when your car is in use, but would-be car thieves would also be left confused wondering why the car won’t start. The only downside is if car thieves pull up in a tow truck, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Another inexpensive way you can theft-proof your car is a simple steering lock. This crude, club-like device locks your steering and front wheels together via a long rod and can only be released with a key. Without it, car thieves would not be able to turn the steering wheel except for going straight. This humble steering lock is an inexpensive, straightforward, and sturdy design that can be bought from any hardware store or online. Its solid steel and metal construction make it an improvised weapon should a confrontation arise.
Remote Car Starter
Picture a push-to-start system in your car, but make it portable to carry around. Remote car starters have been around since the 1980s. It was designed with anti-car theft in mind by a car accessory store in Montreal, Canada. Today, this feature has made its way to higher-end vehicles. The brand-new Civic for example comes with a remote car starter from the factory. In older vehicles, it’s also a good investment to get a remote car starter to thwart car thieves. A good remote car starter set can be bought for less than RM300 online, with some systems designed for specific models in mind! Installing it, however, shouldn’t cost you much with a trusted foreman. Safety aside, a remote car starter is one of the few ways you can modernize your daily driven classic with style like James Bond.
Be sure to check on reviews on an aftermarket remote car starter though. There have been reports of thieves able to hack into a remote starter system, but most likely due to it running a cheap software program. After all, you’re paying for what you get.
A jealous spouse’s favorite, a GPS tracker is also a simple, foolproof way to keep track of where your vehicle is should it get lifted off the streets. These little high-tech devices are fitted with a SIM card and a subscription package that gives you live updates on where your car goes. In some premium insurance packages, it is even included as part of their services too! Once your car gets stolen, the insurance company will dial the police and send security personnel immediately to secure your car.
A GPS tracking system is probably the most expensive option on this list given there is a subscription plan instead of a one-time install. But, it also serves as the last line of defense if car thieves have managed to scoot off with your car.
To conclude, we hope this suggestion from our list can help our readers beef up your car’s security. As a rule of thumb, always park your car in brightly lit, guarded, and crowded areas where people can see you. At home, keep your car porch brightly lit and invest in a house alarm system to thwart thieves. Keep your cars safe!