To ensure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.

– Albert Camus, philosopher

My brother, Kii, officially retired from the police force on Wednesday after serving it for 40 long years. It was, no doubt, an emotional moment for him. If you have been clocking into the same office for years, how do you get used to not reporting for work anymore?

I woke up on Thursday to find a pleasant surprise from him — a touching tribute to him from his colleagues throughout the years. My younger sister with whom I shared the video was touched by the tribute from his friends.

I told Kii he was lucky to have so many good friends who took the trouble to compile a tribute to him and wish him happy retirement. Blessed are those who have friends who value and treasure them and miss them when they retire!

Time really flies! From a constable, Kii rose through the ranks to retire as Sub Inspector.

The apple of my late father’s eye, he made the Liong family proud. I can still recall the day he applied to be a policeman; I was, in fact, the one who filled the application form on his behalf. I also remembered waking him up on the day of his interview and making sure he went for it.

I remembered accompanying my father on visits to relatives who were top policemen in Sibu, asking them for permission to use them as references in Kii’s application letter.

When Kii was accepted for police training at the Bukit Siol Police Training School, the rest of the family, particularly my father, were jubilant.

Why did my brother opt to join the police force? Although many relatives on my mother’s side were/are police personnel and soldiers, we had no relatives on my father’s side in Sarawak.  My father was a first-generation immigrant from Hainan Island, China. But I learnt there were generals among my father’s forefathers. I guess the blood of law enforcers and leaders run in our veins.

Kii’s first posting, after graduating from the police training school, was to Mukah. Forty years ago, there were no roads from Sibu to Mukah and the only way to go to the coastal town located by the South China Sea then was by boat.

My father accompanied my brother to Mukah and the boat they used travelled on a canal called Sungai Kut. Because the boat was full, father and son spent their time on top of the boat and in the process, got themselves very tanned by the time they reached the small town.

Kii spent many years in Mukah and by the time he was transferred to another town for a new posting, he could speak Melanau quite well. Like my father, my brother had a flair for languages which proved to be useful to him in his police career.

I don’t know much about the nitty gritty of my brother’s job except that he once served as a traffic policeman as well. But I know that a policeman’s job is tough.

In fact, when a video showing a traffic police officer kicking an errant motorcyclist in Sibu went viral recently, I sympathised with the poor cop. I remember once my brother telling me the headache traffic policemen faced over young, influential motorcyclists who loved breaking the law in Sibu.

I salute Bintulu Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing for urging police investigating the matter to be fair to the traffic police officer involved. He pointed out that the courage of the police officer in enforcing the law must be appreciated. He reminded the police and the public that the original intention of the traffic police was to maintain order and security for the people.

Tiong also pointed out the errant motorcyclist had also committed countless traffic violations, including having an expired driving licence and insurance overdue road tax, making illegal turns and modifying his vehicles beyond permitted scopes.

Members of the public who were quick to hit out at the cop probably did not have relatives who were police personnel. If they had, they would not be so quick to blame the cop for his action.

Although we, human beings, are supposed to be patient and understanding, we have our limits. Supposed you were the traffic police officer and you came across the motorcyclist who persisted in breaking the law every time you were on duty or mounting a roadblock, would you remain patient forever? 

According to Tiong, the traffic police officer kicked the errant motorcyclist to prevent him from fleeing. The public, he said, should be thankful to law enforcement agencies for reacting promptly to prevent potential suspects from escaping and continuing to flout the law.

Thank you, Tiong, for speaking on behalf of the traffic police officer and all my relatives who are in the police force.  Let us not forget that we, Malaysians, are able to sleep well at night, thanks to the policemen and soldiers who diligently protect us and our country every minute of the day.

And to my brother, Kii, happy retirement and may Malaysia remember you for your 40 years’ service to the country!