My Grandfather, The Policeman

I wonder what my late grandfather would think of today’s Royal Malaysian Police Force – today’s FRU, today’s Special Branch, today’s ACA (renamed the MACC) and today’s traffic police, since he was one of them. Some of these, I only knew thanks to this article in the Malay Mail.

I never really asked him about his police days. He had long retired by then, and the only things I knew as a kid was that he received the Kesatria Mangku Negara (KMN) from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which hangs proudly in his home, and that he had a shotgun, which he’d use to hunt crows (I can’t remember if this was with the MPPJ or DBKL.)

I also knew that he had to relocate a lot – my mom went to so many different schools!

One of my uncles was in the Royal Malaysian Air Force – I don’t know of all his roles but I know he was a traffic controller once. He often said the sense of duty to the country seeped down to him.

(No, not this uncle.)

Although I only really got to see him during festivities, somehow his values were transferred to me by some sort of osmosis through my mom – he was a teacher, and he being a SB officer might explain my investigative streak. My mom is a very by-the-book person, fastidiously following law, extremely trustworthy and accountable, and far more chivalrous than most men. (I did not inherit the chivalry bit, though.)

Heck, I could hold my mom to her word, which is why I have a problem with women when they don’t hold their word. She was quite like Optimus Prime (the righteous cartoon version, not the live-action ass-kicking version.)

I knew though, briefly, that he was a bit disappointed in today’s authorities. I didn’t ask him more, as I was young and was not yet very concerned about where the country was going, and where the police were not following procedure. Plus it was Christmas and I didn’t want to spoil the jovial mood.

I wonder what he would say now, if I had a T-shirt with Che Guevara’s face on it. I don’t have such a shirt, but I know children of army men who do!

I wonder what he would say about the communists, and the young men and women involved in politics who have been wrongly accused of being communists.

It was because of my grandfather that I do not have a motorbike. My grandfather showed my mom plenty of pictures of motorbike accidents when he was in the traffic police.

Somewhere in Cheras, I think.

The funeral procession was flanked with police motorbikes, and they stopped traffic for us at junctions, which was quite cool!

My other grandfather was also a teacher, and he told me horror stories about the Japanese Occupation, but I thought they were just stories to scare you as a kid. I wish I believed him, and I wish he was still around when I had to learn about it in History, in school.

Don’t worry, I am not sad – this was back in 2009. Though I am sad about today’s police, though.

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