Corruption – You bribe too DON’T YOU – It’s all YOUR Fault

Now this is an interesting topic…and it comes back to the same old subject again sadly. Malaysia hypocrisy and apathy.

It’s a fairly serious topic, but one that comes up fairly often. It’s somewhat confusing as a foreigner in Malaysia, especially at first, trying to comprehend the Malaysian mind-set.

At first Malaysians seems like patriotic people who are passionate about their country and want to see positive changes in the bureaucracy and governance of the country. But later you realise they just like to talk about it, and aren’t actually willing to do anything on a ground or grass-roots level to make the changes.

My case in point today is corruption.

You’ll often hear someone or other whining about corruption especially with this $27 million cop splashed all over the papers, and even before that they’ll moan about corrupt cops, corrupt politicians and corrupt business practices.

All you have to do is ask them…when you get stopped for a traffic offense do you bribe the police to get away?

95% of the time they’ll say “Yeah of course la, what else to do?

Which makes them just as bad as the people they are complaining about, it’s their fault corruption still continues and is so blatant. I hold all people that pay police bribes on the street accountable for the corruption in this country.

Me? If I do something wrong, I take the summon and pay it like a good citizen. If I didn’t do anything wrong, I won’t allow the police to harass me into paying them just so I can get away easily.

Stand your ground if you didn’t do anything wrong, don’t pay just to get away faster. You are just making things worse and opening more doors for them to do it in the future.

If you did something wrong, accept the summon and pay it through the proper channels. If you get a discount in the police station that’s fine. But don’t bribe the man on the street.

When the police ask me if I want to settle I offer them RM10 – just to insult them and ask for them to hurry up writing the summons.

In a way you can blame it on the government for paying the police such pitiful salaries, they ‘need’ to collect kopi duit to survive…apparently.

And from what I know corruption on high levels exists in some form in every country in the World, according to the local cultural practices.

Business has opportunity cost as well which even in UK or US might have some kind of ‘gift’ associated with it.

It’s just not so blatant and it doesn’t effect the people.

The problem with the police on the street being corrupt is you have no faith in them solving important crimes or looking after the citizens, their first priority after all is collecting YOUR money – which YOU are allowing them to do.

It effectively removes the whole point of having a police force.

No doubt in UK the government is corrupt at high levels, but the man on the street be it a bobby walking the beat or a traffic cop is 100% corruption free and you can trust that whatever their interest in a given situation it’s not according to money, bribes or sweeteners.

This makes you feel safe.

Stop bribing and the corruption will stop, the police will have to start doing their jobs properly and they will eventually get paid properly.




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20 Responses to Corruption – You bribe too DON’T YOU – It’s all YOUR Fault

  1. nicktay November 6, 2007 at 2:03 pm #

    I agree with you dude. If you offer the bribe, or pay the bribe, your just as bad as the one who accepts the bribe

  2. moons November 6, 2007 at 2:50 pm #

    Very good post. All the anti-corruption campaigns were just like the blowing of the wind, which lasted only a while and died down later on.

    And yea, the measly salary the cops receive is really sad. Cops who try to avoid taking bribes having to end up taking bribes due to their salary not being able to support the high cost of living especially those cops in the city. What a small town cop might be able to survive on, wouldn’t be sufficient for the city cop.

    I guess the mentality of some people is that giving bribes is better than the hassel of getting a summon and paying it. How do they expect all the corruption at higher levels to end when it doesn’t even stop at the lower levels first.

    Hopefully those who read this post will wake up and stop giving bribes and pay their summons for their own wrongdoings.

  3. davidlian November 6, 2007 at 4:46 pm #


    You hit the nail on the spot here. I make it a policy never to bribe policemen simply because it’ll just prolong the vicious cycle.


    You also have another good point. We’re actually living in sort of a ‘protected’ economy. Everything basic is cheap because the government subsidises. However, the government can only subsidise so much, and prices of many things ‘though not essential, but you want them’ are going up. Like UHT milk, from RM 2.70 to RM 4.50 within a year? Ridiculous…

    At the same time, the government is in catch-22 because they pay government servants really low wages, so they need to ensure the cost of ‘basic’ necessities stay low. But they can’t
    subsidise everything. So how is a policeman earning RM 800 a month going to buy a house, let alone rent one? Government needs to subsidise with low cost houses lor…

    I’ve just got this feeling that this very fragile system is going to collapse soon and the balancing act can no longer be sustained.

  4. aeroplane1234 November 6, 2007 at 5:09 pm #

    have they not gotten their unprecedented salary increment? still have not stop them from bribing?

    then are we not adding oil onto fire?

  5. ar November 6, 2007 at 5:43 pm #

    Totally agree with you man! Im guilty of both whining about whole bribe thing and when i you think of getting stop by a cop thats the first thing that crosses my mind at least..Gotta br stoped at root level,Both you and me..If i want to make a change i need to change first! Nice one man!:)

  6. vincent November 7, 2007 at 12:44 am #

    I’ve written about this a million times, and everytime people agree with it….until they are faced with the problem and then go ahead with the bribery. Then you have people like KennySia and KinkyBlueFairy saying how they bribe cops and people say, “Oh, poor you!”

    And not bribing a cop ourselves is not enough. We have to reprimand our friends and chide our loved ones if they do it too. Get them to see their hypocrisy too.

  7. krug88 November 7, 2007 at 12:46 am #

    um i think you’d get just as many comments if you, um, drool, have nice pictures, drool, slobber

  8. Angie Tan November 7, 2007 at 2:05 am #

    Good post..

    Change of mindset amongst the folks which is an uphill battle. Not something which can be done overnight, though.

    It would not surprise me one day that we need to pay an extra amount of $$ to assist in hastening “administrative action” when it is already part of someone’s job. *sigh*

  9. twa November 7, 2007 at 10:54 am #


    Some of the times, the fines are incurred due to bad road planning and infrastructure, because of the government’s 1) greed and 2) incompetence.

    * If the roads were laid out logically, drivers would not be tempted to make illegal U-turns at all.

    * If buildings were planned properly and development permits not given out indiscriminately, there will be less congestion and people will not jump queues or drive on the emergency lanes.

    * If they know anything at all about population density without just signing off on projects for the money, they will legislate enough parking spaces so people won’t simply park.

    And most of all,

    If the fucking cops don’t take bribes, people will not bribe. The onus is on the cops to be the more responsible party. They are in a position of more power than the common citizen.

    If a young impressionable child does something bad, you don’t blame the child first, you put a majority of the blame on the fucking parents.

  10. wombok November 7, 2007 at 11:30 am #

    Well written ST.

    The sad reality though is that this landscape is not going to change anytime soon.

  11. moons November 7, 2007 at 5:22 pm #

    @twa :

    Of course you don’t blame the child (as the child is still young). But please, 18 years old teenagers all the way up and older shouldn’t be blamed but instead blame the police? Get real.

    You talk about the government’s bad road planning which tempts drivers to make U-turns, then what about drivers who tempt the police by offering bribes? Those giving bribes are obviously no better than those receiving!

    Its true though that the government’s plans and layouts are bad, I give you that.

  12. vincent November 7, 2007 at 6:32 pm #

    twa: I wanted to write a long comment calling you a moron because your points as dumb as dirt. I decided not to waste my time because by your logic, I should be able to blame the car manufacturers for allowing the car to go faster than the speed limit which made me get a speeding ticket.

  13. Chen November 7, 2007 at 9:56 pm #

    hear hear! I hope I’ll never be caught in a ‘saman’ situation, because as much as I’d love to refuse to bribe them, I might end up giving in. Better just stick to taking the public transport for me. 😛

  14. steelrage November 7, 2007 at 11:37 pm #


    Its sad to hear that you are whining and blaming everyone and thing else instead of search and ponder if oneself has any wrong in the issue.

    No doubt we’ve got bad road planning. But think about this, have you seem those orange colour road dividers the govt. puts up near traffic lights as to block people from jumping queue? What happens to them? They either get run over OR.. we malaysian drivers start jumping queue where it ends.

    Next thing, you mention something about a young impressionable child doing something wrong and we blame the parents. Why bring that up? We as individuals can’t start by doing something right? We have to wait for others to get it right first? Something tells me that you’re the “yeah dude.. you lead, I’ll follow kinda person” though i may not know you or how you think. Thats exactly how your attitude rubs off on me.

    and this is gonna be a low blow to you… i bet you’re one of those people that complain a certain area looks crappy with all the garbage lying around.. so u decide to leave that area.. you open the door.. and u realize that you’ve left last nights mc donalds garbace in your car.. and what do you do? you open the door.. place in on the floor and drive off…”aiya the place already dirty what…. don’t care la 1 more plastic bag nevermind one”…

    Things start with a step.. if everyone took that step.. we’d have gone a great distance by now.. so when are you going to do it?

  15. Josh November 9, 2007 at 11:49 am #

    this is good shit,very true!
    the solution is to lower the summons rate,and increase the police salary till it’s at par with other professional working jobs(eg. docs,lawyers)
    If not,Malaysia will always be the developing nation with a third-world mindset.

  16. E November 9, 2007 at 12:21 pm #


    Your view of the situation smacks of one old saying:

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right…”

    Just because the road planning is crap doesn’t make it right for bribing to escape your summons. Going along with the bribery culture does not help anybody, whichever way you look at it or whosever fault it is. In the end of the day, we are the ones who lose if the cops can’t be relied on to do their duty without expecting some kind of financial renumeration.

  17. gazard7 November 10, 2007 at 4:33 pm #

    Think I should stop that bad habit too. Time to change for a better tomorrow.

  18. Albert Ng November 13, 2007 at 12:08 pm #

    Amen! We are all corrupt, just that some are in power and some aren’t. I won’t bribe, though. ‘sides we can pay summonses later when we can afford to.

  19. Azad April 4, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    People make leaders, they build a society and a country and make all changes including social changes. People deserve a society that they have made, nothing more or less than that. You folks try to realize you are the one to bring the change and you know how. Only lacking is courage.