Side Views

The case of not leading by example — Zakiah Hanum

FEB 20 — I was driving down the coastal road yesterday when I saw an army van ahead of me. The driver was in his fatigues, puffing away at the wheel.

While it may not be an offence for people to smoke while driving, I find it unbecoming for a soldier on duty to do so. Fastidious you may think, but there is more as the said soldier drove through the red traffic light.

This type of errant behaviour amongst our uniformed personnel is not altogether unfamiliar, albeit this is the first time I have witnessed an army personnel flout the law. I have seen the police break traffic rules many times. I have also observed bad-manners and crass behaviour in local police officers on several occasions.

It is distressing when such offences are observed. It sets me to question what is to happen to society when the very people tasked to protect it cannot comply with the basic rule of law; the very law that they are supposed to enforce, champion, and defend. How can laws be enforced when the enforcers do not abide by them? Surely the army and police should be leading by example? What happens when society can no longer look up to the law enforcers and the military for compliance and good conduct?

The faults committed may seem trivial and more often than not we do not even think that we ought to report such offences, which in itself is already a norm. Part of the fault lies in our apathy; we tend to react (if we react at all) with scorn and contempt, but we do not lodge formal reports either due to fear or simply due to our ‘tidak apa’ attitude. More often than not the fault lies in our ‘tidak apa’ attitude, which requires systematic re-education and campaigning to beat.

I for one will shrug my own feeling of apathy and discard my 'tidak apa' tendencies by lodging a written complaint to the military tonight. And now to recall the registration number of the vehicle in question.

Should I be fussed?

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

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