YOURSAY 'Even if the Taiwanese tourists weren't buckled up in the car, the police should have let them off with a warning.'
Langkawi police asked for bribe, say Taiwanese tourists
FellowMalaysian: This is a serious embarrassing and disgraceful incident reflecting badly on the police and the country - our enforcement officers caught for soliciting bribes from foreign tourists.
And worse, the police chief seemed brazen about the whole affair. When can we ever stop this whole sickening abuse of power, including corrupt practices like this, by our enforcement officers from bringing shame to us all?
Ipohcrite: Even if the Taiwanese tourists weren't buckled up in the car, the police should have let them off with a warning. Come on, don't tell me the police can't do a simple decent thing like that.
Using the ‘no-buckled up' rule to justify harassing tourists, for whatever reason, is a lame excuse by the top brass. The rakyat will never swallow that sort of crap. The truth is plain for all to see.
Jiminy Qrikert: This is nothing compared to what I was told by a friend whose cousin related the following to him. His cousin had just joined the Traffic Corp and, resplendent in his brand new uniform, was part of a highway speed trap operation.
So, being wet behind the ears, he did his duty as he was trained to do. After the operation, the team gathered in the officer's room. All were instructed to put the day's work on the table. Everyone else emptied their pockets and dumped the cash.
The green horn was dumbfounded and when pressed to do likewise, he was only able to sheepishly add his wad of summon tickets to the pile. Summon tickets!
The next thing, he found himself conducting traffic at the worst roundabout in KL. Nice story? Yeah.
I believe every word of it. Because I paid these bribes too on a couple of occasions, just to avoid the bloody hassle. But no longer. Not anymore. My bad.
Now, I take the summons ticket and endure the bloody hassle. No more feeding these bloody filthy leeches.
ONG: Malaysians cannot really complain about our corrupt traffic police. The vast majority of us prefer to bribe the police in order to pay a lesser sum as compared to paying the official fine the legal and proper way, and also to avoid the "bloody hassle", as described by Jiminy Qrikert.
On those occasions that I have inadvertently broken speed limits, I have always accepted the summons willingly and had even insisted on being issued the summons when the police officer started to give hints on an unofficial settlement. Many people told me such behaviour of mine was stupid.
Opah: This story, and the police response to it, will eventually find its way around the world on the Internet. It will be posted and re-posted in all the popular travel forums.
Unless the police and MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) take positive action soon, it'll be ‘bye-bye Langkawi'. All the hundreds of millions that Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen has spent to promote Langkawi will be flushed down the drain.
Who needs to go to Langkawi when they can go to Phuket, Bali or Samui, to name just a few alternatives. All because of the greed and arrogance of a few ‘mata-mata' and the indifference and cover up by their bosses.
Anonymous_3ff5: The police have a responsibility to enforce the law, likewise the tourists also have a responsibility to comply within the law.
Claims of corruption happen in every part of the world, including Taiwan. The tourists should have made an official report in order for corrective action to be taken, instead of going to the blogs.
Rubystar_4037: Asking the victims to lodge a report at the local police station is ridiculous. When it comes to taking bribes, the police officers in every police station will close rank and harassed those who dare to make police reports against one of their own.
Swipenter: I was once robbed by some thugs pretending to be police officers in Brussels near the hotel I was staying. They flashed their fake police ID at me, then surrounded me, asked for my passport, accused me of carrying drugs and frisked me for my wallet.
I went back to the hotel to seek help and the hotel called the police. Within 10 minutes, the real police arrived and they took me in their car to go around the area I was robbed hoping to bump into the robbers.
Half hour later we gave up and they took me to the police station to lodge a report and handed me a thick file full of photos of convicted robbers caught robbing tourists (especially Asians), hoping I can identify one of them.
I gave up after an hour. Before leaving the police station, an officer told me that no police officer has the right to stop me in the street, ask for my passport and frisk me. If they want to do it they have to do it in the police station.
See the difference how the Belgian police carry out their duties compared to ours.
Dont Just Talk: There is no smoke without fire and at least the police chief of Pulau Langkawi should follow up on the matter. It is an international disgrace and a slap on the face for our PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police).
Since a mobile phone was used to capture the event, the police should at least attempt to seek the co-operation of the victims to assist in their investigation.
By the way, what these few police officers take from the tourists is called ‘corruption' and what the big-fish politicians take from the mega-projects is called ‘commission'.
Starr: The IGP (police chief) should know the status, not perception, of his force. It's public knowledge that corruption in the police is epidemic and to dismiss such talks is sheer denial.
Besides, the public trust and confidence are at the lowest ebb since they inherited from the British administration. Like other government institutions, the image and professionalism of the police have been deteriorating for decades and it will take a wholesale, drastic change to arrest the state of decline.
The sooner the IGP knows about the true state of affairs, the better will be for the force and the country. Simply manipulating perceptions and crime statistics will not do, getting down to some serious revamp will.
Kgen: Since the complaint was just made on an online forum, police would ignore it. Funny, the police and MACC seem to act with alacrity on any online allegations against opposition politicians even if they are by anonymous bloggers made without a shred of proof.
Pemerhati: The 2008 Auditor-General's Report estimates the losses from corruption at as high as RM28 billion. The figure now is likely to be much higher. What this indicates is that a lot of people in the public service and the ruling party are very corrupt.
We have read about PM Najib Razak and his cohorts getting hundreds of millions in kickbacks from the Scorpene submarine deal and the former IGP (inpector-general of police) allegedly getting a share of the underworld's takings from various crimes such as gambling, prostitution, loan sharking, etc.
In this particular case, the lower ranking police officers, possibly with the knowledge and encouragement of their superiors, collect money illegally from tourists and in other ways and later share the loot among themselves.
Many of Malaysia's political leaders and public servants are corrupt from the top to the bottom and a change can only be brought about by electing a new clean government.
Boiling Mud: Granted that tourists who flouted traffic laws have to pay the fine on the spot, but what is the standard sum of fine? Is it up to the discretion of the police to arbitrarily fix the fine at RM300 from each of the eight passengers and later to reduce it to RM500 in total?
How could the Kedah police chief say no action could be taken on the matter because it was only an online posting with no official police report made? The complaint from the car rental company was good enough for him to act.
How about the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia lodging a report on behalf of the victims who might have been too scared to lodge the report themselves while in the country?
The author of the blog posting has aptly and succinctly described the police as "a bunch of gangsters in police uniform equipped with pistols". The rot in the police force is a serious matter.
The slogan of 'Cuti-Cuti Malaysia' might as well be changed to 'Curi-Curi Malaysia'.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.