Friday, 23 March 2007

Imagine If They Were 300 Years Old

"Why is it so bad lately?" a female colleague asked about the traffic situation in KL this week. Another female colleague said some roads were closed, but didn't know why.

"The Royal Malaysian Police are celebrating their 200th anniversary," I supplied. "They've closed the roads to Dataran Merdeka for the festivities." Where they prance around in shiny uniform and showing off at the motorists' expense, I mentally added.

Female Colleague #1 rolled her eyes.

"What? The police are so old already?" asked Female Colleague #2.

"Of course," I said. "The British formed it first."

The modern police force was in fact founded by our former colonial masters. Clinging stubbornly to ancient roots, the Malaysian Police's web site insists that they went back as far as the Malaccan Sultanate, when the Police Chief was known as the Temenggung. True in a sense, but it doesn't justify shutting down part of the city's busiest traffic grid for a self-promoting celebration.

Weren't there any vacant National Service camps they could've used for rehearsals? And after that, I'd suggest they do all their well-practised marching, chanting and human pyramid building in a deserted stadium on a weekend, make a high quality DVD recording of it all and have it on sale at every police station. It'll reach a wider audience, be available for viewing all year-round, and would take care of any Police Day "celebrations" - and all related road closures - for the next two centuries.

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