Malaysia’s police, an extinct breed

In my 2 weeks stay in Malaysia, I only saw 2 policemen on 2 separate occasions. It made me wonder where the police are if they are not out patrolling the streets and making their presence felt? Someone mentioned in jest that because of the heat (it is 35’c and more in the daytime), they were in their air-conditioned offices, playing computer solitaire. Another thinks that the police are focused on illegal immigrants.  Not to round them up as a reasonable person would think but to extort money from them in order not to do so. Apparently, extortion is big money compared to ‘kopi’ money (these are bribes that motorists pay to avoid a traffic summon. It is known as ‘kopi’ money or coffee money as it is offered under the guise of hospitality, i.e ‘let me buy you coffee for the inconvenience’.)

By comparison, we saw many killer/suicidal motorists driving at breakneck speeds, tailgating and weaving in and out of lanes, countless texting or speaking on the phone, while driving and just a general lack of regard for road safety and traffic rules.  Where are the police when we need them to police these dangerous behaviour? 

One of the clear signs of a breakdown in society is the lack of law enforcement, which then allows undesirable elements to take over the void. If left unchecked, residents will feel the need to take matters into their own hands. Those that can afford it will take flight and migrate to another country, those that can’t, will exact their own justice or worst, become bad.

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Filed under Malaysia, Musings

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