Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nawi Embong - On Dealing With Muslim Officials

There is really nothing one should worry about when dealing with a genuine Muslim who is very likely to be fair minded.

Many years ago, in 1980, my family’s tyre shop in Klang Lama always got into trouble with corrupt enforcement officers from DBKL, for not paying them kopi-o money on their rounds of inspection, and there was no reason to as we have seen to it that the surrounding was properly maintained.

On one nasty occasion, a very rude officer who could not extort any payment from us, issued a summon with some frivolous charge of traffic obstruction. He was extremely rude and antagonistic as all other shops in the vicinity, in order to avoid problem, just pay meekly on their every visit regardless any offence was committed, except my family’s tyre shop.

I was outraged and demanded that the officer explains the charge but he told me off and just left with his gang laughing along. With tears in my eyes, I rode my Honda cub straight to DBKL and stormed into the office of Datuk Bandar to complain.

Of course I was stopped by the secretary who explained to me about appointment needed and Datuk Bandar having meeting etc.

Feeling frustrated, I retreated to a nearby coffee shop, and remember a senior of mine from Faculty of Law, who was posted to DBKL.

I went to her office, told her in details on what has transpired. She told me to see a certain Director in DBKL whom she said has very low tolerance on corruption and abuse of power.

I went to the Director’s office as directed, was told by the secretary to wait. Soon a man in green jacket and with beads in his hand emerged with an entourage of officers surrounding him.

I was taken aback, and cursed my senior who caused me to face an ayatollah or something, remember the year was 1980, after the Iranian Islamic Revolution and there were posters of Ayatollah Komeini all over our campus in UM.

Though the incident happened 28 years ago, I still remember what followed.

He had a glance of this long haired young Chinese boy with helmet in his hand and asked his pretty secretary:

“ Whats this?”

“ Mahu complain.”

He looked at me again, dismissed his officers and gestured me to follow him into his office, where I told him everything as quickly and as best I could. He asked some questions on my background and then summoned two officers to his office.

Apparently those were Senior Officers in charge of operations on enforcement. I was asked to repeat my ordeal. “Ayatollah Director” then asked the two Senior Officers if they knew their officers were abusive and corrupted as I mentioned. The two advised that investigation has to be conducted first before any conclusion could be made, at which point “Ayatollah Director” blew his top and snared at his officers:-

“What for? You mean to say, this young boy dare barge into my office if he is not genuinely aggrieved? Do you have any idea how your officers conduct themselves in the field? Do you care for our reputation?”

To cut a long story short, those corrupt officers were disciplined and I was told by “Ayatollah Director” that his door will always be opened for me and thank me for taking the trouble to sort things out the correct way.

Since that incident, I had no prejudice in dealing with any Muslim, and I find it rather easy to tell if a Muslim is genuine.

By the way, “Ayatollah Director” real name as I remember is Nawi Embong, I regreted not making any effort to locate him to express my gratitude. However, I have related his good deed many times to many of my friends. Now, I want to dedicate this true story to DAP.

Post 8/3/08 Posting on MT Re appointment of PAS Muslim MB in Perak


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