There has always been a love-hate relationship between me and the Royal Malaysian Police.
On one hand, they are perceived to be severely corrupt, hugely inefficient and heavily biased particularly when it comes to political matters. That is, at least, the wide perception. On the other hand, they are a very pleasant, friendly bunch (at least those that I have met were) especially when they are trying to negotiate something out of youâ€¦ if you know what I mean.
Generally, I have never met the HK-drama-style â€˜bad copâ€™ who is rude and yells at you when asking the most ordinary questions. Most of the law enforcers that I have met were fat-bellied, chatty, and always grunts â€œselamat petang tuan!â€ with a big, pleasant smile. Lots of people that I know despise the Force, but I can never fully decide if I hate them more than I like them.
Iâ€™ve just had an experience of that nature yesterday.
I went jogging with a friend at the Bukit Kiara jogging track late Sunday afternoon and as usual, parked my car at one of the many parking lots in front of the park entrance. I didnâ€™t want my wallet to be pressing onto my ass while I jog so I left it in the drawer in front of the passenger seat. My friend also left her mobile phone in the same place.
After the jog, we went back to my car all thirsty and sweaty, only to find that my carâ€™s hazard lights were flashing. It was the exact type of flash that you get when the alarm is ringingâ€¦ only that it wasnâ€™t ringing.
Suspecting nothing at first, I unlocked the car using the remote control and when we got into the car, my friend discovered that her phone was missing. The pieces immediately fell into place: the flashing lights but silent alarm was the sign of a carâ€™s alarm system being tampered with, or the siren had simply rung till it timed-out. I checked the compartment. Indeed, my wallet was gone too.
Screw this, I thought. There were some RM200 in cash in my wallet and a 50 Euro note that I had brought back from Rome. For some reason, I wasnâ€™t particularly sad or distraught over my monetary losses. Instead, my first thought was that I was very lucky to have removed all my UK-cards from my wallet last month â€“ my student card, ISIC, Barclays debit and ATM cards, driving license, even my 16-25 Railcard, YHA, Subway and Ryman membership cards. They were all very important memorabilia from my student life in the UK.
So I called up my banks to cancel all my credit, debit and ATM cards. The thief acted really swiftly. I received a text on my phone a couple minutes later saying that my credit card had been used at the Samsung Brand Store in PJ for the sum of RM2199 at 7.36PM. My car was probably broken into at around 7PM because we had only left it at 6.30PM. So this guy drove from KL to Selangor, found a parking lot at Digital Mall, requested to buy a Galaxy S4, filled up forms and photocopied ICs (probably mine)â€¦ all in less than 30 minutes! Who is this? Flash!?
Anyway, the good guys at the Public Bank fraud department decided that this was a suspicious transaction and after calling me twice and failing to reach me (my phone was on silent mode), the transaction was denied. Kudos to the guys at Public Bank, boo to the greedy thief. Hah! If you werenâ€™t that dumb and greedy to attempt buying a Galaxy S4 and instead had merely used my credit card to purchase <RM500 stuff you would have succeeded. Loser! You must have also looked so dumb in front of the Samsung store cashier staring at my friendâ€™s phone waiting for the bank to call in.
I think my friend suffered the greater loss here. She had not backed-up anything from her iPhone and there was a huge scare when she remembered that she had stored some bank account passwords in her phone (bad move, I know) and her iPhone was not passcode locked.
So we immediately got home and blocked all her accounts and after all the urgent things had been settled, there was only one thing left to do â€“ make a police report.
We both groaned at the prospect of making a police report as we knew that it was going to take a long, long time. I am quite content to expect absolutely nothing from the police in terms of recovering our stolen items. The report was simply necessary as a precaution because I had lost my identity card and the thief could do a lot of mischievous things with it.
We arrived at the Bangsar police station past 10am (I had gone to Midvalley to buy a new wallet) and found some six to seven police officers cramped in a really small office. Consistent with my past experiences with the police, the officers tended to me warmly as I made my report. I told them my story: I went jogging at Bukit Kiara at around 6.30PM and returned to the parking area at 7.30PM to find my carâ€™s alarm lights flashing but the alarm wasnâ€™t ringing, and about 10 minutes later I received the text from my bank querying about the credit card purchase.
I tried to give as much information as possible. The timing of the theft, the item that the thief had attempted to purchase, the storeâ€™s name and locationâ€¦ but it seemed to me that the only thing that they were interested in was exactly which â€˜Bukit Kiaraâ€™ I was talking about. They repeatedly asked me if I saw a golf course to which I answered no. I told them it was the jogging track along the hill, not inside the golf club. I even showed them on Google Maps the exact street and location at which I had parked my car. But they still spent some 20 minutes discussing among themselves and trying to figure out which Bukit Kiara I was talking about.
The whole process gave me the impression that they didnâ€™t really care about the details of the case. All they wanted was the mandatory information (time, location, items lost etc.) to fill into the report and get the job done. But thatâ€™s totally fine with me. All I wanted was the report, anyway.
At 45 minutes before midnight, my police report was complete. I sighed in relief and was looking forward to my dinner/supper when I was told that I had to go to the police station in Pantai to give my statement to the investigating officer! I was like OMG canâ€™t we do it here!? But apparently there were no investigating officers in this station.
We arrived at the Pantai station and were again greeted pleasantly by the front desk staff. I really love their courtesy and we greeted them back warmly. I was supposed to look for a certain Sergeant and an officer kindly showed me the way into another building and found the Sergeantâ€™s office. My smile, however, quickly faded as we discovered that the officer had gone out and I had to wait for him to come back.
When we finally managed to have our statement recorded, I had to retell the whole thing because apparently the guy had to make a report of his own.
The investigating officer was a jolly fellow and the whole session sounded more like a coffee chat that a statement recording. Among other question, he asked us if our phone was under warranty and if there was any chance we could claim it back, and if we had downloaded the â€˜Find my iPhoneâ€™ appâ€¦ and if there was a lot of people jogging at Bukit Kiara.
He also seemed more interested in whether I had locked the car door when I left the car at the parking lot, rather than the crucial piece of information that I had: the text message from Public Bank which revealed the exact time and location of the thiefâ€™s movement after the crime. Like, the thief tried to buy a frigginâ€™ smartphone at a Samsung store; SURELY he would have left some tracks!? Arenâ€™t you interested?? Seriously, does it really matter now if I had not locked my door (which I did)? Wouldnâ€™t how the thief had got into my car be of much less significance now that I have actual clues on the identity and movements of the thief?
Theft is a crime in the Penal Code. Donâ€™t you want to arrest a criminal?
The officer seemed indifferent to the text message that I showed him and after I reminded him of it for the second time, he glanced at the message and asked with a confused look: â€œWhat is this message? Who is it from?â€ When I told him that it was a fraud prevention measure by my bank, he queried: â€œSo the shop sent you this? How would the bank know he had purchased from this shop?â€
Anyway, after a rather lengthy explanation he finally noted the existence of the text message in his report. And that was when he uttered what was probably the most epic sentence Iâ€™d heard that night:
â€œSoâ€¦ err, if you guys have the timeâ€¦ you can go to this Samsung shop (I had Googled up the full address for him), tell them what happened, and ask them if they have CCTV footage of the store.â€
Perhaps noting the stunned expressions on our faces, he added:
â€œYou know lah, we are quite busy hereâ€¦ but donâ€™t worry, if they refuse to give you the footage, say that the police â€“ say my name â€“ Sargeant XX asked that you hand over the video. Then you can bring it back to the station. Alright?â€
My brain literally stopped. A police officer had just asked me to do his job. In my stupor I nodded and said: â€œYeahâ€¦ OK.â€
I left the station at 1AM tired, hungry andâ€¦ amused. It didnâ€™t matter, I had got what I needed â€“ the police report â€“ which would allow me to get a replacement identity card without incurring a penalty fee of RM200, and to defend myself in case my identity card had been misused.
But other than that, I expected nothing out of my two hours of dealing with the Royal Malaysian Police. These guys were really nice people, yes they are! The investigating officer, in particular, was very friendly and was smiling all the time and I must say I had a rather good time chatting with him. But with that I have exhausted all the good things that I have to say about the Force.
Iâ€™m not generalising and I know there are lots of good cops out there working tirelessly and risking their lives for our safety. Maybe Iâ€™m just unlucky. From those that I have met, Iâ€™m afraid I do very much feel that they are an inefficient bunch of slobs.
Thus is the love-hate relationship that I have with the police! Peace.View More