A few days ago I posted something in praise of those flers in blue especially the ones manning the Rakan Cop hotline. I said that the Polis Diraja Malaysia were at last doing something right. Many comment-ers posted to say that they too would appreciate an efficient police force that was proactive and people friendly. But being Malaysians some of the comment-ers were also quite sceptical about how long this new 'efficiency' would last before being consigned to the lock-up room and the keys thrown away.
Well guys, I hate to inform you that my elation and yours may indeed be shortlived.
Driving to work this morning I saw that a big tree branch had broken off one of the trees that lined the roads in my housing area. Worse it was hanging precariously on a single telephone wire that stretched across the road which happens to be the main thoroughfare in and out of Bukit Antarabangsa. Road users wanting to turn left into Jalan Wangsa 1 would have to pass under the wire and the very heavy branch both of which could come crashing down on unsuspecting victims and cause severe if not lethal damage.
(Photo taken at approximately 2.13 p.m. Notice the single strand of telephone wire that is holding the branch up.)Remembering my experience with those wonderfully helpful people at Rakan Cop a few days ago, I called the number, 03 21159999. Again, the same cheerful attitude came on the other end of the line. Took down the details and said they would do something about it. Less than 3 minutes later I received a call. "Ah, Encik Patrick ah? Ini balai polis Ampang. Tadi you........" The Ampang policeman, as in the other day's experience, sounded irritated that he had to attend to me. Anyway, I repeated the whole thing to him and he gruffly indicated that he would do "something". I checked the time. It was 1059 hrs. That's 10.59 a.m. When I drove back after I finished my rehearsals.........the tree branch was still hanging there! The time was 1413 hrs. Or 2.13 p.m. Almost 3 hours and nothing had been done. I called Rakan Cop again. Same friendly answer. This time........."Oh. Masih ada sana ke?" Still there ah? "Tapi I da bagi tahu balai polis Ampang." So? Feeling a little exasperated I told the gentleman that perhaps the Ampang boys weren't the ones to call but instead if he could do all his rakan rakan cop a big favor, if he knew the number to call the Bomba boys to come and clear the dangerous mess. "Oh. Okay, okay, okay, okay." Ever notice how Malaysians think that by repeating words it is deemed to have convinced the other party that action has been taken? And that's where it's at as I type this post.
It would appear now that Rakan Cop, your Police Friend, is very glad to take your calls. Anytime. But it doesn't mean that they will do anything about it. Well, not all the time anyway.
Maybe, that Toyo fler's idea of a developed state just means that emergencies will take a little longer to resolve given that he and his people are now busy filtering water for the population of the developed state to drink.
Post script: I also noticed that many drivers and motorcyclists were cheerily driving under the branch without a care. Many of them were smiling as they went. "Oh look! A big, heavy branch hanging over the road on a single telephone wire . How quaint. Branch fall on me? Nah. It won't happen to me. Anyway, I've got a spare life in the wardrobe at home. What's the problem?"