Once again, the Royal Malaysian Police have been thrust into the glare of unfavourable publicity. It happened when Padang Lalang state assemblyman Tan Teik Cheng was accused of obstructing policemen from conducting a roadblock in his constituency on Oct 1.
Although the story is something most Malaysians (and people living in this country) are thoroughly familiar with (we've heard it in one form or another), it bears repeating if only for the sole purpose of reminding us that something is still not quite right with our police force.
For example, why was the onus on assemblyman Tan Teik Cheng to prove he wasn't obstructing the cops from carrying out their duty? Why didn't the authorities instead question the legality of non-uniformed policemen setting up ad hoc roadblocks?
What do we, as the public, do when stopped by people claiming to be plainclothes policemen? It has happened to me several times, and each time I go through the same routine of showing my ID, answer stupid questions and have my bag (if I'm carrying on) rifled through.
The sad fact that such incidents no longer anger me is perhaps due to a sense of hopelessness that I've developed. I mean, what else can I do? Put up a fight? I've done that and got handcuffed and detained. Emigrate to another country?
The dilemma is not a new one. It happens often, and will happen again and again. I see no change for the better anywhere within sight. The recent Police Commission Report had all the makings of a classical opera show. What a waste of opportunity and resources.