We all say we love the police service of Tanah Air but deep down we may have a little suspicion that perhaps we should be more circumspect in our unbounded admiration, don’t we? Go on, you can admit it to yourself, just this once. After all, it is the duty of the public to scrutinize their paid defenders and not just loll about in restful complacency in the certain belief that Tanah Air’s finest really are the finest.
So, in the interests of making a nod, at least, towards the role of the Fourth Estate, something that is usually far from the concerns of this blog, I set out to think of some reasons to not love everything about the police and lay them before you for consideration.
I tried very hard to come up with some. Even one. I walked up and down, my head bowed, my brow furrowed. I pondered deep into the night, sleepless. But I have to admit I failed. I couldn’t think of a single reason to not adore the men and women who devote their lives to serving the people as their slogan attests (and how rare is it that a slogan matches reality? But in this case it surely does).
So, instead of trying to shake your faith, I shall reinforce it by reminding you of what our police do par excellence (not that you need reminding).
Just recently I had an errand to run, which I executed upon my little motorbike. I left home at 11 a.m., thinking I’d be back by noon to avoid the heat but, as is so often the case, a street was blocked by construction works and I had to take a detour that meandered around hither and yon and concluded in a massive traffic jam in which even motorbikes were stuck, meaning I was still on the road at closer to 1 p.m., sweating, dirty and tired.
I was about 100 meter from the traffic lights at one of those enormous six-road intersections that take about three minutes per segment. I was cooking inside my jacket, gloves and helmet. Nothing much was happening each time the lights facing me turned green. We crept a few meters closer, at best.
When I stood up and peered between the buses and trucks, I could see that the intersection was jammed with the same. I began to contemplate suicide by breathing more deeply and asphyxiating on carbon monoxide rather than die slowly of heat exhaustion in the vehicular desert.
But just as I was about to take the first of the life-threatening deep breaths, our heroes arrived. Two policemen stepped out into the midst of the intersection and began to direct drivers this way and that. These angels came from I know not where — perhaps they descended directly from Heaven — but in a couple of cycles of the lights the intersection was clear and I had made it to the front, only to be faced once again by an accursed red light. But one of the police angels waved me through, along with all the other motorists behind me. Glory! Wonder! Joy! Praise be to the police!
Now, gentle readers, allow me to state unconditionally and with no fine words left unemployed that this must surely be the pinnacle of work carried out by our police. What better purpose do they serve? Catching crooks? Hardly. Protecting the pluralism of the Constitution and minority-group citizens from mobs of thugs? Never. Assisting road accident victims? Not on your life. Defending the rights of adults to choose their own entertainment by permitting and, indeed, proudly supporting a foreign singing star’s concert? Don’t make me laugh. Refusing bribery and rigorously pursuing those who don’t? Now you really are entering into the absurd.
But waving motorists through red lights, now, that’s something you can’t complain about.