Latest CNNGo.com "Say What? with mrbrown" column: Road trip! On the highway to Malacca and back
I just came back from a road trip to Malacca over the weekend only to read in the news that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had detained eight Singaporeans who tried to bribe traffic cops over the long weekend.
This is certainly a conundrum for Singapore drivers because almost everyone who drives to Malaysia knows that Malaysian traffic cops expect to be bribed.
If you were speeding beyond the 100km/h (62.5 mph) speed limit on the North-South Highway, and got pulled over, that's one thing. But many drivers tell me traffic cops there pull them over even when they are not speeding, asking for kopi (coffee) money.
And I am told the rates are different for Singaporeans and Malaysians too. My Malaysian friend only pays RM10 (Malaysian ringgit, the equivalent of US$3) to traffic police. Singaporeans usually pay RM50 (US$15) or more.
In Singapore, nobody sane would bribe a local cop. You would be afraid to even think of doing it. But it seems police bribery is a way of life in Malaysia.
My Malaysian friend told me that once, he was sitting some distance from a broken public telephone in Malaysia when a policeman came up to him and promptly accused him of damaging public property. (cont'd)