M’sians must be wary of ‘hungry’ cops at roadblocks as they travel home to usher in the year of the dragon

A VIDEO captured on YouTube whereby a British couple settled RM100 on-the-spot with a traffic police officer instead of paying a RM300 summon for a purportedly speeding offence has brought embarrassment to all Malaysians, no thanks to one traffic police who was believed to be on the take.

Severe action must be taken against the police officer who has also ruined the good reputation of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), especially when over one million people have viewed the video from around the world.

FocusM has sighted the video which appears to be undeniably genuine based on this writer’s own encounters with the bad cops and similar videos uploaded by other netizens.

Even if the video were fake or being staged, such things do happen with most Malaysians, including the senior cops would agree that something needs to be done to stamp out corruption within the police force.

Considering that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Madani government seeks to clean up the country’s reputation from corruption, this is in fact not only a common problem in the PDRM but most other enforcement agencies also need to come under the scrutiny as well.

If Malaysia wants to attract more investments, cleaning up corrupt practices must become a top priority for the Madani government.

This writer has personally encountered similar experiences with the police. When stopped by a traffic police, a few common questions asked are: “Where are you working? What are you working as?”

Although one can jump to the conclusion that these questions are linked to one’s affordability, such questions should never be asked at all by the traffic cop.

According to “Lawyer Gandhi”, one does not need to answer such questions. The polite way to respond to these questions is: “I am sorry I committed the traffic offence. I am only a salaried person, struggling to make ends meet.”

Set up task force

With the Chinese New Year around the corner, it is important that the authorities, including the integrity unit of PDRM and other government agencies such as Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) set up their own task force to monitor the situation on the ground.

In one particular year, this writer experienced at least three roadblocks in her neighbourhood within a radius of 5km. Usually on the second day of the festive season, there would hardly be any traffic jam but the roadblocks created “artificial” traffic congestion.

When the matter was brought up via SMS to the District OCPD concerned, all three roadblocks were immediately called off. FocusM has also recently sighted a few locations where roadblocks are frequently set up.

While it is understandable that roadblocks are important to nab getaway criminals or to catch people who commit traffic offences, it is quite a different story when some of these roadblocks are set up at locations where it is easy for criminals to escape by making a U-turn or a detour elsewhere.

Cleaning up takes time

Enforcement officers at the local government level are also known to be on the take. It is unfortunate that most traders or restaurant operators are unwilling to appear as witnesses in court for fear of repercussion.

A few years ago, the restaurant operator of Steven’s Corner in Petaling Jaya made waves when he voiced out his frustrations against certain enforcement officers. The incident, however, did not embolden others to help stamp out corruption.

To nab these corrupt officers, the task force must put out the baits and even disguise as petty traders to catch the culprits red-handed. If there is political will, it is not difficult.

Bad habits die hard. It will take at least 10 years to clean up the enforcement agencies from corruption. However, this must begin now.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s decision to implement the bodycam for police officers is a step in the right direction. It certainly takes a lot of political will on the minister’s behalf to carry out the unpopular decision but this is what Malaysians want.

Saifuddin’s decision will help to boost the morale of PDRM. Bad cops who are on the take not only ruin the reputation of the entire force but are the reasons why even the good cops get the bad name.

If a survey is carried out on public opinion of all our enforcement agencies, chances are that nine out of 10 would respond by saying that they are “corrupt.”

One senior police officer who has earned the praises of netizens is the current chief of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief, Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain. He is the epitome of what every good cop and citizen want to see happening within PDRM in years to come. – Jan 30, 2024

Main pic credit: Bijak.my

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