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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Caught on video: M'sian cop lets S'porean driver off after bribe

Sulaiman Kamal | 11:02 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A Singaporean driver who posted on the Internet a video of his bribe exchange with a Malaysian traffic policeman is facing a backlash from irate netizens.
Forum members on citizen journalism website Stomp are slamming him for the unwarranted "publicity" which they say will result either in a crackdown on the 'kopi money' practice, or the perpetuation of cops asking for bribes from motorists.
The footage, uploaded on Stomp and YouTube, is dated on the morning of July 8 and shows the driver being pulled over by Malaysian police in a highway road block.

The policeman claimed that he had exceeded the legal speed limit of 110kmh by going at 125kmh. The driver hands over his identity card (IC), but the policeman demands to see a driving licence, which the driver said he left in Singapore.
"Can help or not?" the driver appears to say, to which the policeman replied, "I help you. 100 ringgit can? Can or cannot?"
The driver said no. "Ok boss, 50 ringgit. 50 ringgit I help you," the policeman offered next. The driver then paid up the amount and drove off.
Netizens on Stomp, the website which featured the video last week, are polarised in their opinions about the incident. They have posted a total of 228 comments to date in reply to the story.
While some said they have faced similar incidents and rebuked the corrupt practice, others are chiding the Singaporean for going along with it.
About 16,000 vehicles from Singapore, excluding motorcycles, enter Malaysia on a daily basis, according to aStraits Times report in June last year.
It is not uncommon for highway traffic offences - like breaking the speed limit - to be settled via a 'kopi money' amount of RM50 (S$20.30).
But Malaysian authorities are taking a serious approach to the corrupt practice. Over the Vesak Day weekend in 2010, eight Singaporean drivers were detained for trying to offer bribes between RM20 and RM110. They were later released on bail.
A director of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission told The Star newspaper that if convicted, the offenders face up to 20 years in jail and a fine not more than five times the bribe amount or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
In September last year, a Singaporean bus driver was jailed for a day and fined RM10,000 for trying to bribe a Malaysian policeman after he was caught speeding.
In Aug 2010, a Singaporean businessman was slapped with a RM15,000 fine and jailed for a day as well for a similar offence. Both were caught in May that year.
Despite the convictions, the 'kopi money' practice appears to still be carrying on, whether perpetuated by Singaporean drivers or Malaysian policemen.
"It has been going on for decades," a netizen called finallyhere said on the Stomp forum.
"RM50 is the correct amount. Don't spoil the market by giving more. This amount has been the standard for all these years. Remember," said yakdtai555.

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