My friend once told me a riddle. He asked me, "Do you know who are going out from their home, riding their bike or driving their car but don't even care to bring their IC, driving licence and even their money?" Do you know the answer? The answer is, a policeman! It is a joke of course; based on true story.
Me myself had had an experience facing such situation. My friend was driving his car while I am at his side. We were at a junction and there was traffic light. The cars in front of us were moving and we just followed the cars without realizing the light was red. I still remembered, it was grey Proton Saga with Kedah plate numbers. It was quite cloudy that day. Unfortunately, just after we turned to our right, there was a road block and the policeman asked us to stop aside. I asked my friend, "The traffic light was green or red when you turned?”, he said, "I don't know; red maybe". ’Oh God'.
"Good morning sir, why do you keep moving while the traffic light was red?", the policeman asked my friend. "Hmm, we are really sorry sir, we aren't aware of the traffic light. We are not familiar with this area." "Oh, stop giving me an excuse, this is not the first time I heard that answer". But then he just goes away to other car. We discussed what should we do? I told him to go out and talk to him nicely or maybe he can excuse us. When my friend was out approaching him, the policeman asked him to go inside the car and that was all begun; sincere giving.
This is all true and I believe, it is not only our story but most of drivers and motorcyclists outside there have their own.
Based on research made by Transparency International, an organization which focus on freeing people and country from corruption, Malaysia was ranked 60 in 2011 out of 183 most corrupted country in the world on scale from 10 which is very clean to 0 which is highly corrupted and Malaysia have score of 4.3, and it is not a good news.
They admit, the figures are not absolute levels of corruption since most of the corruption is hidden. If it is transparent graft, we can catch them all and the problem is solved. The figures are based on surveys and assessment produced by Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), right, ‘perceptions'. What I can say is, the figures are not entirely right, but it is not totally wrong also. If I asked you, do you think we live in a corrupted country? I can say most of us will say yes and if I ask you another question, which institution is highly affected by corruption? You have the answer already.
The research stated that, the most affected institution in Malaysia is police, secondly is political parties and thirdly is parliament and legislature. That is why when some of us see a car or motorcycle was stopped by policeman, they will said, ’cari makan'. Dear readers, these three institutions are the most important institutions in Malaysia to ensure public safety, country leadership, administration and justice and if the perception is correct, what do you think the ‘rakyat and our country's safety and future will look like? We are in the hand of corrupted institution and it is not surprise that our country loss a massive amount of money in Auditor General's report.
Recently, the government has tabled an amendment of Road Transport Act in the parliament to increase the maximum fine to RM2,000 from RM1,000 with the minimum fine is RM300. The first time I heard the news, it just pop up in my mine, ‘’duit kopi pun bertambah'. Logically thinking, if you were stopped and you been given options to pay minimum RM300 or you want to kawtim, what option will you choose? With only RM30 or RM50 (depending on what car do you drive) and your problem is solved or you want to pay the full fine amount and wasting your time in police station. I don't think it is the wise way on punishing traffic offence. They should lower the fine, not increase it. Laws are not made to punish, but to teach others what is the effect if anybody disobeys it. Don't you think so?
This ‘sincere giving' does not only happen in police, but also happen in other public and private sectors. If I can list it roughly; Custom, Immigration, Department of Safety and Health (DOSH), Military, Judiciary, Media, Education are institutions which are exposed to bribery. Even the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission is exposed more since they are the one who deals with briber and receiver. You can imagine it by your own why do I list those institutions are exposed to bribery. The government should pay serious attention for institutions which are exposed to bribery closely besides changing their department once in few years and tender open ceremony in public. Those who are found guilty and anyone been caught power misused and corrupted should been fired and it is non-tolerable.
Not only in public sectors, this virus also happened in private sectors. In business, when people are desperately to win any tenders or projects, this is where graft takes place. Your expertise and price sometime is nothing if those who manage the bidding process do not get something beneficial from the vendors. This is where a believe started, if you don't do it, someone else will. Now you will realize, how corrupted our world right now not only action but thinking.
How can we stop all of it? Start if from your home. Stop giving something to our sibling or children in order to ask them shut their mouth if we do something wrong. Nevertheless, I still believe serious campaign can help reduce bribery. I still remember when a student asked our Deputy Rector (Student Affair) about campaign which is to him do not give any impact to student. He answered, "I know we can't see major change but if we stop the campaign, things will get worse". I agree with him. Sometimes, we need more than hundreds times to read the same campaign before we really realize the light inside each word of the campaign.
Above all, religion is the key of all problems. People intend to follow the wrongdoers when the action has become a culture. When time goes by, any wrong action is assumed alright since everybody does it. Make a clear explanation about bribery; what is bribery is all about from smallest to biggest bribe. Convince people the sins behind it and teach them, rezeqi is from the Creator, not from the creations. There is no barakah in life from having such illegal money.
Believe it, bribery is not solving any problem but transparency improves qualities and competitiveness. Oh, I almost forget, we don't give any money to the policeman who stopped us but we have him recorded. Maybe next time you can standby recorder in your car in case you face such situation as I am. You know where you should precede the records. May this small effort help diminish bribery as a start.