how trusted can our law enforcers be? now that is the question. all my life i have never resorted to bribe someone to get my way around, or even thought of accepting any form of bribery. not because of moral ethics but simply because i was never in a position to commit such unlawful deeds. but a recent experience has given me a different insight on why bribery still persists despite the widescale efforts to curb it, yeah...i experienced it first hand.
to cut it short, i was asked to pullover by a policeman for cutting a double line. i admit i was at fault and willing to accept whatever was thrown at me but even then, i didn't think of trying to bribe the officer. but what was supposed to be a quick affair was dragged on for another 30-40minutes with the officer asking (or maybe trying to make small talk) silly questions. after 10 minutes, i kinda knew what the officer wanted, but i wasn't going to take a chance of being caught red handed for offering bribes.
throughout the conversation, i took note of several hints which the officer was subtly suggesting:
a) Minum Kopi (drink coffee)
- when my colleague sitting next to me tried to get a pardon (which i told her not to. you can blame it on my ego but i wasn't going to beg for a pardon of something which i clearly did. my reason was, he was just doing his job), the officer rebutted, 'saya cuma menjalankan tugas, kalau tidak, lebih baik saya lepak di kedai sambil minum kopi' (i'm only doing my job or i would be better off drinking coffee in a shop).
- he kept on asking me, how am i going to settle this and i kept telling him, 'if it is already my fault, just give me the ticket and i'll settle it at the station'. but he kept asking the same question over and over again and said 'okay, let's be gentlemen. how do you say we should settle this?'
c) Price Naming
- Unsure of my own judgment, i played along being the naive and innocent road user. he then called me out from the car and he proceeded to bombard me with the same questions and this time i told him 'there's nothing much to be done, if you give me the ticket then i would have to pay at the station, end of story'. then came the gentlemen talk again, and by this time i was pretty sure he wanted a bribe so i told him 'saya cuma boleh bagi 2 *ikan merah' (i can only give two red fishes), i learned this trick from my policemen classmates back in Uni. instead he said *ikan merah cannot cut it and i asked what is it does he want, of which he replied 'RM50'.
i found it bold of him to quote the price straight away and frankly very dissapointed. i've heard stories of how the law enforcers are mostly made up of corrupt government employees, but i didn't think i would actually meet one personally.
anyway, in my defence i would like to state that i would be okay to pay the RM150 fine. but i was quite curious on how does one get involved in bribery hence the unlawful and unethical action :D. but this wouldn't have taken place if the officer did not pester us and just issue the damn ticket straightaway :p.
*ikan merah (red fish) is a term to describe a RM10 bill.
then again, i'm not blaming the officer for what had transpired. after all, it takes two to make it happen...