Recently, IUKL PhD in Built Environment student, TPr Yong Chee Kong won Best Oral Presenter at the 2nd International Conference on Social Science and Education (ICSSE), Bandung, Indonesia with his thesis, “Key Success Factors, Safe City Programmes, and Reduction of Street Crime and Fear of Crime of Pedestrians.” His thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Zulkifli Hanafi and co-supervised by Sr TPr Mohd Anuar Abdul Wahab.
P: Congratulations Yong on winning Best Oral Presenter at ICSSE! How did you feel when you found out you won?
Y: Thanks! I felt proud and grateful when they announced my name as I see ICSSE as a challenging international platform. I would like to thank IUKL for the support and confidence in me.
P: Can you briefly explain about your thesis?
Y: This study aims to examine the key success factors of the Safe City Programme in reducing street crime in the city area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the fear of crime on perceived safety of pedestrians. Four streets in the central business district area were chosen as the study site in representing financial and business precinct based on their significance and popularity.
A total of 400 respondents which were mostly pedestrians of the city answered the survey. The public survey was also supported by observation notes, pedestrian count and interviews with the related agencies.
P: What inspired you to choose the title of your thesis?
Y: Urban safety is a global concern where half of the world’s population are now urban dwellers. Malaysia has experienced rapid development and it was estimated about 85% of its population in the peninsular will inhabit the urban area by the year 2040. The crime rate increases along with the population size of urban dwellers, and a majority of these crimes occur in cities. As a result, reducing crime now has become Malaysia’s top priority putting the focus on urban areas.
P: What did you hope to achieve when you decided to participate in ICSSE?
Y: This was a platform to present my research and learn from others in improving the skills and knowledge that I have. Besides peer review, networking is also important just like any other profession.
P: Why did you choose IUKL to do your PhD?
Y: IUKL provides funding and a conducive learning environment.
P: Who would you say is your strongest supporter and why?
Y: My strongest supporters are my wife, my son, my mom and spiritually, my late father who passed away in 2009.
P: Any advice for those who wish to pursue their PhD?
Y: You need to plan everything from the start. Write often, read a lot, focus on small signs of progress, balance your work and life, build a functional relationship with your supervisor and of course, try to have fun! Don’t be too stressed out.