Tuesday, May 09, 2006
first and last
So there was this time, many many moons ago when I was no older than 17 years young. My cousin and I were in that vile place on the mountain, and I was desperate to get into the casino, just a month or so before I was supposed to leave for the UK.
Being an expert in such matters, my cousin (who was already 24 then) prepped me with the requirements. It's simple in theory. When the guard asks for your IC, hand it over. But of course, not before you had strategically placed a couple of ten ringgit bills under it. The cop then takes the IC from you, and upon feeling some paper-ish stuffs under the plastic would proceed to conceal the money with a David Blaine-ish hand movement, return your IC and let you into the casino.
But of course, that was all theory.
Still, being desperate just to have a look at the casino, I did just that. Corruption was so rampant, it was said. I heard hundred of testimonials of how easy it actually was. It was a dead cert that it would work. I had counted on everything, except of course a woman cop at the entrance.
It's intuition, you know. Like an assasin, who at the last minute gets a hunch that something would go wrong, I tried to abort the mission. My cousin convinced me that it wouldn't be a problem - a cop is a cop, and all of them are corrupt.
"But it's a woman!"
Well, there was a difference. As soon as her fingertips touched my IC and the dollar bills under it, she looked at me funny.
Ah, cool. She's taking me through some back entrance.
Goddammit. It's THAT easy.
And so the woman led me through a series of corridors, which is exactly what I expected. Back entrance, you know. Soon, I would see a door and she would say to me, "Nah, masuk diam diam." I would then enter the door and nobody would ever notice me entering the casino.
All was well.
Except for the glass door and the huge unmistakable blue logo hanging above it.
Ibu Pejabat Polis Genting Highlands
She entered and I sheepishly followed. She dumped my IC on a table along with the two 10 ringgit notes. The guy behind the desk, presumably her boss took a glace a the evidence, and then at me.
"Nak cakap apa-apa?"
"Minta maaf tuan. Saya tidak sepatut....."
If there ever was a time in my life which I was closest to pissing in my pants, this would be it. I was literally in deep shit. Any action he chooses to take against me would probably mean that I won't be able to go to UK to study in a month's time. This was a time when I was just like the other Malaysians out there - so convinced that the system we had in place here was so fucked up, it was peanuts to screw around with it. Except of course, the system worked this time and I was left cursing my bad luck - never mind that I was wrong in the first place.
And then the guy goes and says something I would probably never ever forget in my life. Two reasons : it was bullshit on one hand, but it was so true on the other.
"Kau fikir kau kat mana sekarang? This is Malaysia, you know. This is not Indonesia. We are not corrupt people. Kau masih muda...kat sekolah pun nak buat macam ni. Besok bila besar, cem mana?? Habis Malaysia ini kalau semua orang macam kau"
He then let me off with a very stern warning, but not before returning my money.
And if shit like that does not change you, then nothing will. That remains the first and the last time I ever tried bribing a cop. If it costs me 300 bucks because I was speeding, or because I jumped the queue - then it is MY fault and I will pay the piper. I make no excuses, I provide no justifications. No need for the bargaining. No need for the "Macam mana, tuan?" If you know you made a mistake then salvage what is left of your integrity by putting your hands up and admitting to your mistake.
Coming back from overseas and complaining that your country is fucked up doesn't help. Shit like that goes a long way though.
At MY age, I suppose that is a compliment.
If he wants to do social commentary, he should grow some moral spine and standards of his own first.
You are right. If stuff like that don't change a man, nothing will.
I agree that on one hand what he said was bullshit but on the other hand, it contains some truth in it.
Man's natural fallacy = Greed