Friday, August 20, 2010

Bribe vs Bribe

What's this I hear? A Singapore motorist was actually fined RM15,000, and had to spend a day in a Johor jail for offering a bribe to a Malaysia policeman? But that's how Singapore motorists have been settling their speeding offences (real of imagined by you know who) for upteenth years. I know because I was in a Singapore car on Johor's road when it was stopped by a policeman on a motorbike, ostensibly for speeding. The 'offence' was settled on the spot with a $50 note. That was more than 20 years ago. And the practice appears to have continued all these many years.

Now, the same act has been deemed a real offence, and the Singapore motorist has had to pony up RM15,000 (about Singapore 6,000 over dollars) for bribing a police officer with RM100. Going by the old practice, this same Singaporean could have gone racing up and down Johor's road with free abandon to use up all of that 'fine' money. And the money could have been spread around more to top-up these probably underpaid highway patrolmen's pay. Now I wonder who that money will go to? Maybe somebody higher up thought that their middlings have had it too good and wants in on it.

Make no mistake. Breaking the law is a serious matter, and doing so in a foreign country more so. But now Singaporean motorists need to change their mentality regarding Malaysian traffic and its policemen, and above all, drive more 'carefully'. Except, how fast is too fast remains a matter of personal judgment - the patrolmen's. Yes, Malaysia should enforce the law, but it must do so with a definite amount of certainty and not leave it to the whims and fancies of an often corrupt system to start off with. Imagine, a corrupt system accusing someone of corruption. How ludicrous.

I fear for Singaporeans motorists now.

Read this news article