Encountering officers who ask for ‘coffee money’ isn’t unheard of, but one Singaporean couple met a rather bold one who allegedly helped himself to some cash from their wallet.
The woman, surnamed Cao, told Shin Min Daily News that she and her husband drove to Johor last Thursday (Sept 29) for a day trip.
She said that it was their third trip across the Causeway since land borders reopened.
As they headed home that afternoon, the couple was pulled over by a traffic police officer near the Johor Checkpoint.
“We thought it was a routine inspection. After the officer checked my husband’s driving licence and our passports, they asked if we visit Malaysia often, and if we were familiar with the roads,” said the 39-year-old Chinese language teacher.
Cao’s husband answered, saying he relied on GPS to navigate the roads.
The cop then told the couple that they ran a red light twice at a certain intersection.
Although she did not recall the road names mentioned by the officer, Cao said that it was rather unlikely for her husband to commit the traffic offence as he was normally a careful driver.
According to her, the police officer told them to head to a nearby police station. After driving about 500 metres, however, the officer asked them to stop under an overpass and asked Cao’s husband to exit the car for negotiation.
As soon as he stepped out, he was slapped with a RM500 (S$153) ‘fine’.
“At that time, my husband only had about RM200 in his wallet. After handing the money over to the police, they snatched his wallet and fished out two $50 notes. They put the cash in their record book and left.”
Even though the couple was unharmed, Cao admitted that she is still fearful and no longer dares to visit Malaysia.
Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat told Shin Min that the police have identified the officer involved in the incident, and he has been transferred to another post.
He added that they are investigating the matter and will take necessary action against the officer.
Cao’s experience isn’t the first time that Singaporeans have had ‘run-ins’ with Malaysian authorities.
In May, a Singaporean family visiting Johor was also stopped by Customs officers who allegedly told them they had “committed a serious offence”.
They were told the matter could be resolved “privately” — simply by offering the Customs offer some ‘coffee money’, Shin Min Daily News reported then.
The woman, who only wanted to be identified as Song, told Shin Min that she and her husband were ushered into an office where they were told that their “serious offence” carried a penalty of RM10,000.
Song’s husband eventually handed the officers RM200 in cash, by slipping the money into his passport.
“At that time, I was too scared to know what to do. The children were very anxious and asked my husband and I what was happening,” said Song.