KUALA LUMPUR - The policeman who tore up a RM20 (S$8) note after a bribery attempt by a motorist, will be rewarded.
Federal traffic police chief Senior Asst Comm Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff said the corporal from Johor would be given a letter of commendation for his honesty before Hari Raya.
While he did not condone the act of tearing up money, SAC Mohd Fuad explained that the corporal became agitated after the motorist insisted on passing him the cash.
"I have received a report on the incident. The corporal witnessed a traffic violation and proceeded to issue a summons but the motorist kept insisting he take the money and cancel the ticket. That's when the corporal got agitated and tore up the money."
Last month, pictures and a video clip of a policeman tearing a RM20 note after a bribery attempt by a motorist was circulated on the blogs and social media sites.
One image showed the man being issued a summons by the policeman while another zoomed in on the torn RM20 note, together with the driver's IC and his driver's licence.
Commenting on the Jalan Imbi-Jalan Pudu sinkhole meme of Marvel characters Thor and Loki asking a traffic police officer: 'Apa Macam? Nak settle?, SAC Mohd Fuad said it was "very upsetting".
On July 2, a section of the busy intersection caved in, leading to sinkhole memes flooding the social media.
He admitted that general public perception was that whenever a traffic police officer stops a motorist, it was to negotiate a bribe.
He said corruption had given the force a bad image.
"For years, there's been the negative perception that we are on the take.
"I want to erase this perception and restore public confidence so I urge the public not to bribe my men because you could end up being apprehended.
"I am serious about this," he warned, adding that his target was to achieve zero corruption.
From 2011 to 2013, a total of 165 officers faced disciplinary action for corruption, he said.
Admitting that there were probably many more unreported cases, SAC Mohd Fuad said no corruption reports were lodged against his men so far this year.
There are a total of 5,693 traffic officers nationwide.