May 18, 2012

Police presence in school

An admonishment used by Malaysian parents in the old days - "Behave or I'll ask that policeman over there to catch you!" Perhaps because of that, and certainly because of corruption and extortion issues, we tend to head the other way when we see the police. Recent Malaysian police brutaility towards civillians and journalists in demonstrations over rigged elections have not endeared them any.

Anyway, the sight of a police car or uniform makes me go into alert mode. Last week when I went to get the kids, I saw a police car in the school's parking lot. Nothing alarming, thankfully, the police were there to give the kids a talk about safety. There has been some 'stranger danger' reported in the shire and they were doing their community bit. Next week, they come back to talk to the older kids about cyber safety. Police booths are also common in fairs and the kids can go and get their fingerprints done.

I asked Number One and Two what the police officer said when she visited their classrooms.

Number Two's account:
"If people try and steal you, you kick and punch."
"If they want to take something, just give it to them. Then call 000."

Number One adds:
"000 works on a mobile phone or public phone even if there is no credit or money."
"If we can remember anything, a freckle, or no teeth, that would be helpful. Better yet if we can remember the car plate."

The safety talk, reported in their school bulletin, is a good reminder for us adults too - one can easily get complacent here.

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