There are times, crude and crass language is most necessary. Like this time.
I spent a whole weekend and this morning being late. All so the police can show to me and millions of Klang Valley inhabitants who is boss.
(For those not in these part of the world, Malaysian police have initiated around the clock roadblock all over the capital city since Friday up to now. KL is a traffic infested nightmare for most parts of the day)
Yes yes, they got the guns, the jails and hand-cuffs – all paid for by us silly people – who like to see our tax-ringgit to inconvenience us and frustrate our weekend. There has never been a better example of people paying to suffer – a perverse masochism forced down on throat, hoping that we call turn around and thank Polis DiRaja Malaysia for being the paragon of public service.
It is the sheer brouhaha-ness of the situation that angers me. What are you doing, putting a roadblock on a major thoroughfare at 12.30am on a Monday morning? Seriously, what?
I can almost see the policeman in charge telling me, ” Kita hanya menjalankan tugas.”
This brings us to the classic debate on whether men in uniform can question those who instruct them, less they betray the chain of command. So I am not going to bazooka the constables and sergeants I saw manning the roadblocks, but rather the senior members – the management core of PDRM. Can’t they tell their political paymasters no?
No, we won’t bring KL to a standstill so that you can make your political statement to the masses and scare them from a no-confidence vote. No, we dare not inconvenience the so many nice people who actually pay for our uniforms. No, we think it is silly in times of high petrol prices, keeping middle income groups idling away in long queues and burn their life-savings away.
I am thinking the Inspector General of Police did not unilaterally order for measures to disrupt our lives. He would have to have the acquiescence of his senior officers.
Why did they not say no?
Have we run out of public officials who are willing to do things on the principle of public good?
I shudder to think that so many of our people have been trained to be drones, that they actually believe the only thing they can do is to follow orders without rationale.
Feudalistic thinking has perpetrated every pore of our daily lives and there is real danger that this is going to reach a nadir we might not be able to reverse.
It might be cliche, but the police don’t get respect just because they wear uniforms. Respect is a currency that runs along with integrity and consistency. And no, that too is not decided by your putting those catchphrases on your station door and button badges. It comes from grassroots perception.
And today, PDRM is just a bunch of guys you fear, cause they have guns. They will use the maximum powers available under their precious Police Act to extract every ounce of dignity, confidence and independence any Malaysian has which is contrary to their political masters.
They will do that shamelessly.