“Nak saman ke, nak tolong?”

Even the corruption business in Malaysia wants performance. Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan, “People first, performance now”, is really effective.
It was another typical trip on Nov 24 for my family on the North South expressway. We were heading north to A’Famosa, with my four children and three other adults on board. I was driving slightly above the legal limit, about 120km/h. At about the 188km point (time 10:40am), there was a police road block. My car was directed to the road side. Shortly after an officer approached me and asked for my driving license. He remarked that my car was clocked at 122km/h by their speed camera. He asked if I could speak Malay as his English was not good.
What came next surprised me. “Nak saman ke, nak tolong?” asked the police officer. (“Do you want the summon or help?”) Anyone staying in Malaysia long enough would understand that “tolong” here means “do you want to settle it with a bribe?”. I replied, “Kasi saman.” (“Give me the summon.”) He then asked me to wait for another officer and walked away. The other officer came over after being told of “nak saman”, looked at me for a second or two, returned my driving license and said, “jalan, I bagi chance.” (“Go, I give you a chance.”)
What surprised me is the question “Nak saman ke, nak tolong?”, which came so direct and candid, without any sense of shame. In all my experience with the police road block, there’s always a little hesitation on the officer, who would try to bring out the notion of “tolong” discreetly. He would first beat about the bush, hoping that I would first ask for “tolong”. In some cases, with my persistent pretension of innocence by not asking for “tolong”, the officer eventually would give up and let me off. But in this case, the prevailing sense of efficiency was so obvious. No need of beating about the bush. No need of wasting both sides’ time. Straight to the modus operandi of Polis Di-Raja Malaysia. (Pardon my generalisation, but it seems to be proven right time and again.) No time to waste, for the benefit of everyone involves in such business.
And then the behavior of the second officer was also interesting. I didn’t even plea for clemency but he voluntarily let me off. Again, it smells of efficiency at work too: since the business of bribe could not materialise, there is no point wasting time to issue the summon. Yes, writing the details of a summon is quite a waste of time. He preferred to let me know to save himself time, not to save me the trouble of settling it subsequently (which may make me RM300 poorer).
My eldest son, who is seven years old, saw the whole episode and detected something unusual unfolding in front of his own eyes. When I drove on after being let off involuntarily by Polis Di-Raja Malaysia, I heard his asking his mother what’s happening. At that point I was sure he would be given a lesson about the meaning of “police”, in Malaysia, which cannot be learned from text books. I was wondering how all those corrupt police officers would go home and face up to their children too.

Source: Email roslan mohd