Sunday, August 13, 2006
Experiencing a Traffic Police "Operation"
10 July 2006. The Royal Malaysian Police conducted an operation to catch illegal racers.
The Star reports today.
What The Star failed to report was the unprofessional way motorists were apprehended and the many non-racers who were also caught during this operation.
Charlie Lim, a Singaporean, and his friends were among those who were caught in the operation.
Attached is his account. Read it and refer to the accompanying video clips. Judge for yourself Polis DiRaja Malaysia needs to re-examine their operating procedures considering many innocent motorists and individuals, Singaporeans including, were made to go through a stressful and absolutely unnecessary experience with our police.
Also judge for yourself whether the Star had correctly reported the operation.
This is Charlie's account:
Me and my friends met up in Gelang Patah for supper. We left the coffee shop at about 2 a.m back to Singapore.
As we hit the Highway, we noticed that there was a long low loader parked across the other side of the highway. Initially, we thought it was just an accident. We also noticed in the distance, there was a helicopter in the sky flying quite low with flood lights on. Kinda weird because there was no airport in the area and the helicopter is flying too low to be just cruising by. But things got alot scarier seconds later. We noticed cars travelling against the flow of traffic and headed towards us at break neck speed! Its not one or two cars mind you, it was 10-20 cars!
We just kept to the side of the road and travelled real slowly, unsure of whats going on... as we turned into the exit going towards Singapore. We were stopped by plain clothes police officers in reflective vests. Not just us, there were other Singapore bikes there too. And Malaysian cars, and bikes, even a couple of Singapore cars. This was at about 2.30 a.m.
Then we realised that it was a major Malaysian police operation against illegal car racers. And we were suay enough to be on the highway when the operation started.
We were all made to gather in the middle of the highway and just made to wait. We can't leave as all the exits were blocked and our licenses were taken from us. Car drivers had it even worst, they had their car keys confiscated.
After an hour or so, we were told that all motorcycles will have to gather in front of all the helicopter that has landed in the middle of the Highway. There were a few reporters and they began snapping lots of pictures.
Then the unimaginable happened. We were told to follow the escort vehicle in front WITHOUT helmets!
Riding in a convoy with people we dun know, in the middle of the night and not knowing anything is already dangerous enough. But to do that without helmets is downright insane! Luckily for them, they decided that we can wear our helmets after all. But by then, the reporters have already snapped our faces without helmets.
Travelling along in a convoy of a hundred bikes or so, we were travelling at about 30-40kmh and after about 30 minutes of riding, we finally reached the Police Staion. And then the waiting game began.
Again! But the weird thing was that we were not really detained or locked up, we were just milling around just waiting for things to happen, I even went out of the police station and went to the nearby petrol kiosk to buy some 2T (engine oil).
At about 7.45 a.m., some police officer made us riders push our bikes from the impounded area to the front of the station. We knew that our wait would soon be over.
Finally, at about 8 plus in the morning, they started returning us our documents and told us we could go.
Nothing much was said to us throughout. One of them told us to keep quiet when questions were raised. There were no statements made at all officially throughout the operation. Neither were there any 'stern warnings' issued.
At the police station, some of the officers were heard shouting but I cannot be sure what were they shouting about. I cannot say that they were polite but they were not rude to us either.
The Police made us go through so much hassle and trouble and then let us go just like that? What was the reason for impounding us then?
Charlie also made video recordings of his experience: