Thursday 26 August 2010

Cari makan. A BN thing?

Within PDRM discipline is good. The police force is run very tightly. At all levels of command orders and instructions are carried out to the letter. Go to any district Police Station, IPK and Bukit Aman and you will see that there is no slacking around. It is all spit and polish 24/7. Everything runs like clockwork.
And yet the public holds PDRM in so much contempt and disgust. Mostly because of the many deaths and torture of people in their custody and the widespread corruption within PDRM. The enthusiasm of the Special Branch in going after the ISA detainees is also a sore point with the public. Then there is the manner that PDRM deals with demonstrators – too much brutality too little compassion for their own kind.
Is the chain of command in PDRM effective in getting things done? Yes it is but it does not mean that when the IGP gives instructions that nobody in PDRM can take bribes his officers will follow the instruction to the letter? Why not?
Let us look at what a chain of command entails. The chain of command is a group of people within an organization committed to carry our orders. It consists of a power network and a social network. Orders are transmitted down the chain of command, from a higher-ranked  officer to lower-ranked personnel who either execute the order personally or transmit it down the chain as appropriate, until it is received by those expected to execute it. That is the power network.
But the right to give these orders also carries with it responsibilities. You would have to earn the right to give these orders. This is the social responsibility part of the chain of command network. A corrupt OCPD (Officer in Charge of a Police District) will corrupt the officers and constables under him because to take bribes he would have to involve all if not most of the personals within the police station.
If the OCPD takes bribes from an illegal game arcade to allow it to stay open at all hours he would have to have the ‘cooperation’ of his officers to allow the arcade to operate. And he does so by either giving a direct command to his officers to not ‘kachau’ the arcade and he shares his ‘takings’ with those at the station. There are many ways of sharing the takings – he can himself give the mata mata some duit kopi or the owner of the arcade can do it on his behalf – with the OCPD’s consent.
And so to their wrapped way of thinking this is a win win situation. The illegal arcade stays open, the Inspector gets his ‘pau’ and the mata mata on the beat goes about his duties and close one eye to the goings on of the illegal arcade.
All goes well until somebody complains about the illegal arcade. School children playing truant to go spend their pocket money there, the neighboring shops gets upset with its operation – too much noise at odd hours and too much money being made at their expense – and they complain to the Police…….to the OCPD in charge of the District.
He listens to their complains and then the run around starts and continues until it goes higher then him – to the KPP – Ketua Pegawai Polis of the State. Now if the KPP has no share of the takings from the illegal arcade he calls up the OCPD and the illegal arcade will be closed within the a day if not earlier….and so the same applies for any situation within the Police Force.
What matters is how high a level can any illegal activity go to y these bribes so as to not be harass by the Police. In the case of the massage parlors and prostitution activities in Bukit Bintang very very high. They can carry on with their activities without any harassment by the Police. In the case of extortions and protection money – very high too because they can act with impunity – again no harassment from the police. The drug trade, illegal ekors – all the high-income stream illegal activities  - ditto. Very high!
Now the mata mata on the beat and those traffic cops in motorcycles and the perondas in their patrol car can see all these happening around them. They know where all these activities are taking place – after all they are the police! They know that their senior officers are not doing as much as they can to stop these illegal activities because of the bribes being paid to their senior officers. And these low rank PDRM personals are not getting a share of the takings.
So what do they do? They take bribes from us – traffic infringements, red lights, crossing yellow lines, speeding…all the infringements where they have a say in whether we go free or we get a summon.
So now there is a free for all within PDRM – each with their own turf – trying to milk the public dry. The chain of command is still there but everyone uses the chain of command to look after their turf – where they are getting their bribes.
The IGP is too busy politicking and doing favors for his political masters to have any interest down line. Those people under him cannot guarantee him a job – his political masters can.
So what does the chain of command becomes – from the Minister down to the mata mata? It becomes a means to an end. To be used for the purpose of lining their pockets with money and power – and you use the power to make more money or to stay in power first so that you can make more money later!
And every body justifies it by explaining to themselves that all they are doing is  “Cari makan”.
And this is what is happening in our country now. The reporters in NST, Star, Utusan and all the government media are doing what they are doing now because they have to “cari makan” . Ditto for  the Government Ministries….so many people closing one eye and shutting the other…and they all forget that in the first place all of them are already getting a salary!
It is not cari makan – it is greed. It is because you want more then what you are entitled to. It is because you excuse yourself for doing so because ‘everybody’ is doing it. No my friend everybody is not doing it! You take what is not rightfully yours. And when that happens somebody loses.

And so it is with the millions and billions that BN takes from us to keep for themselves or to give to their cronies. This is not a crime with no victims. Even possession and use of illicit drugs, prostitution, trafficking in pornography, and gambling which could be argued to be victimless crimes are illegal when based on the offence principle. Bribery is not part of business or economic life and it is not a victimless crime as UMNO prefers to see it!
The Police collusion in this merely allows a greedy regime under Barisan Nasional to exploit the situation. What makes bribery possible in Malaysia is the political will to ALLOW it to happen. In its dealing the Barisan Nasional  governments fictitiously creates a premium for projects, tenders, contracts, agreements it controls to allow for corruption to flourish. When there is political will for bribery to happen then no checks or balances by any authority will prove to be adequate.
Is it victimless? The World Bank estimates the costs of corruption in Malaysia to be RM10 billion a year. It does not take an angkasawan to work out that somebody has to pay for this. Just think how much food, houses and infrastructure this money will build for our country? The health and economic consequence of these lost billions to the people of this country will take many generations to recover.
It will be impossible to eradicate corruption when there is no political will to make it happen. For now let us sit back and watch these goons from Barisan Nasional  throw the problem of corruption and bribes amongst themselves. Each time making the right noises about being anti-corruption and being against money politics. Let them set up the Mother of all MACC and appoint whomever they want as IGP. Every now and then, like a parrot on steroids, designated member of the Cabinet or even the Prime Minister himself or his deputy will pop up and announce another crack down on corruption, another Tan Sri or Datuk arrested to white wash the whole issue and to  keep the natives happy thinking that the powers that be are cracking down on themselves (Huh!).
For the fun of it they might give Samy a Tunship and then, after a decent interval, charge him with some JKR related issues….and as long as we can sit back with arms folded and understand that this is all a charade…then nobody will get too hysterical about what is going on around us. We need our sanity and we need our health if we are to vote Barisan Nasional out of government come the next general election. So remember what I said….sit back, fold up your arms..have a cool ice tea or for the likes of Zorro unmasked and his buddies they will insist on a Beer……and once in a while when MACC come up with another Tan Sri or a Tun…you nod sagely and give them the finger (no not the one finger salute) but the ‘good one’ salute…and wait. Good things comes to all those who waits! I know the 13th General election will!     

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