SOMETIME in October, I received a phone call from a trader friend at about midnight.
He seemed upset after witnessing an incident where police officers manning a roadblock in Ujong Pasir, Melaka, had allegedly been rude.
“See for yourself. Don’t bring your media tag, ” the caller said.
I decided to do just that, so I drove past a roadblock in Ujong Pasir on two separate occasions, both after 11pm.
During the first roadblock, I found the policeman to be courteous. He even advised me to stay safe when visiting crowded places.
However, at another roadblock on a different day, the cop asked harshly: “Awak dari mana? Keluar lewat malam ni, pergi ke mana?” (Where are you from? Where are you going this late in the night?”)
On hearing my explanation that I was going to a nearby convenience store, he let me pass.
I, however, stopped by the roadside and introduced myself, then requested to ask a few questions.
The policeman obliged and told me that when manning roadblocks during the conditional movement control order, they had to face people of various characters.
Some motorists were rude when they were stopped at roadblocks and refused to provide answers when asked, he said.
“We don’t mean to be rude.
“We stand here for hours screening motorists and some people are disrespectful towards us. Some do not wind down the car window when asked to. “They must be fair to us too. Some of them even claim to not understand Bahasa Malaysia, ” he added.
Ching Jing Oun, a 45-year-old resident of Bandar Hilir, said some policemen would turn rude in reaction to motorists who were rude to them.
“We should be fair to cops who smile and greet motorists at roadblocks, ” he said.
Ching said the police too needed to talk to the locals in a proper manner, as not all those passing through roadblocks were defiant.
Melaka’s new top cop Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Majid Mohd Ali is willing to listen to public complaints.
He told the media on the first day he reported for work on Nov 16, that he would be transparent about public complaints.
And he has kept his word. On Nov 22, DCP Abdul Majid personally went around checking a roadblock in Ujong Pasir and greeted motorists.
His deputy Senior Asst Comm Sharul Lalli Masduki is also willing to listen to the people’s complaints.
He too has personally observed such roadblocks.