Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What I have to do to get a discount...

and I am not talking about shopping here. It sure looks like this week, I'm getting the hassle of a speeding ticket that commensurates with my 21 years' driving experience.

Last week I received a speeding ticket in the mail for doing 23km/h more than I should have on a highway which, according to the police, is limited to only 90km/h. Well, I didn't notice the speed limit sign and somehow I've always assumed that most highways here are limited to 110km/h.

So in order to put my driving record back on track and also to ensure that I can renew my car road tax next month, I jumped into action on Monday. I went to a police station which I'm familiar with (in Petaling Jaya), took a number and waited. When my turn came, I asked if the fine of RM300 could be reduced. The police officer said it could, up to 30%, only if I make an appeal at the police headquarters of the district that issued the ticket.

The HQ of the Subang Jaya district which issued the ticket is located at Bandar Putra Permai, near Taman Ekuine (Equine Park), a new property development off Seri Kembangan, near Serdang, on the way to Putrajaya (the new government hub), through heavy traffic, past old mining town of Seri Kembangan which has about 2 or 3 sets of traffic lights and one-lane roads on each side, after which you go through more windy one-lane roads packed with buses, cars and lorries.....summary, some god-forsaken place.

Yesterday, armed with a map, I ventured into Bandar Putra Permai and found the police HQ. I thought it would be just a straightforward process of submitting the ticket, requesting for a reduction, pay up and be done with the whole thing. I was wrong. I had to fill up an appeal form giving the reason for my speeding and was told to call before visiting them the next day to complete the process.

This morning, I called and they said my appeal has been approved (50% discount luckily!) but the 'boss' has yet to sign it. Try later at 4.00pm to come and collect the signed approval letter they said. There goes my plans this morning to put this behind me. I'm not free in the afternoon so it looks like it'll have to be Friday as I'm not free tomorrow morning either.

What surprised me further is that I cannot pay the fine at that HQ itself. Instead, I have to go to another place located in a mall in Puchong to make payment....

I fail to understand why the Malaysian police force systems and processes is not fully integrated considering that the country hails itself as developed, with "e-this, e-that", blah, blah, blah...

In summary, to get my speeding fine reduced from RM300 to RM150, I would have driven a total of around 80km to and from Petaling Jaya, Putra Permai and Puchong, visiting the police four times, and spending a total of about 4-5 hours on the road and at their offices. And I hope that's all I have to go through. I will find out for sure on Friday.

Their motto (in Bahasa Malaysia) is "Mesra, Cepat Dan Betul" (Friendly, Fast and Right). Well, I give them a passing mark for Friendly, but for Fast and Right, I'm not so sure.

Check out Wikipedia if you want to get more general info about the Polis Diraja Malaysia. The official website is in our national language.

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