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Author: savemalaysia   |   Latest post: Sun, 13 Oct 2019, 10:47 PM

 

Attention VIPs with outriders, no one cares who you are! By Nicholas Cheng

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When I was studying for my Masters in London, I had the opportunity to watch a play starring Natalie Dormer, of Game of Thrones fame.

And after the show, I got a chance to take a photo with her as she was leaving the theatre. She was in a bit of a rush. I assumed she was going to scurry into a fancy black car and be driven away - being the international celebrity she is.
 
After snapping the picture, Dormer - who was unaccompanied by bodyguards or a posse - walked down the road and went in to the tube station (the London version of an LRT).

That blew my mind picturing someone as famous as her riding alone in a packed train with the common folk. She's a bona fide VIP. And someone who I'm very sure has a merry band of stalkers.

There's this expectation that VIPs are hard to access and in need of constant guard from the common folk, because logic dictates that if you're a VIP, you're always at risk of being attacked, bothered, stalked by the simpleton masses. That's why you see politicians, CEOs or celebrities surrounded by guards everywhere they go.

But in the United Kingdom, that's doesn't seem to be the case.

Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg took the tube to work. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn takes the bus, Boris Johnson cycles. My friend even saw Idris Elba waiting at a bus stop! The don't have guards and seem to get along just fine.

The Star front-paged the public's encounter with police outriders assigned to VIP state figures and politicians, who have been accused of acting hostile and stopping moving cars, in order to allow their charges to move along from traffic safely.

The biggest thing that jumped out to me from that article was that 32 people have died on the road since 2017 as a result of special duty vehicles like security outriders.

You can get fined RM10,000 and jailed for up to two years for not giving way to a VIP convoy. The legal term is "obstructing a civil servant from carrying out his duties" and can be enforced by three different Acts.

In 2015, an insurance agent was fined RM5,000 and jailed for five months because he didn't stop to let a convoy pass on the North-South Expressway.

It's great that our laws protect VIPs on the road. Do any laws protect citizens that get injured or killed when they are stopped abruptly by VIP outriders?

Like most Malaysian motorists, I have also encountered rude outriders that make me feel like I am inconveniencing whoever the VIP they are escorting from the road I am driving on. I have also been made to screech to a halt while driving on highways because a VIP simply had to drive ahead of me.

Not only are those actions dangerous, it comes off as saying that my safety on the road and my time is less precious than some VIP.

Bukit Aman says all this is necessary for the safety of our VIPs.

But here's a newsflash to these supposed VIPs. If you aren't the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or royalty - no one cares who you are!

Everyone who is on the road is trying to go somewhere. Do you VIPs think we just drive around hoping to run into one of you, so we can attack you? Get your head out of your behind.

Hell if you weren't being escorted by a cavalry of sirens and cops on motorbikes, we wouldn't even know that a VIP was in the car. You give yourselves away! If anything, you are drawing more attention to yourself by insisting that a light show parade escort you everywhere you go.

The Star article reported that only a select few VIPs get outriders and that these outriders are there for the sole purpose of protection. I'm not too sure about that.

While I was a crime reporter with The Star, I got to know some cops who work as outriders.

They explained to me that while the their job is to provide security, in application, it really seems like all they are there doing is getting their VIP from one function to another.

And because the VIP is always late, they are forced to push through traffic to get their VIP to where they need to go on time - hence why they seem short fused when instructing motorists. They are on a time crunch.

These outriders were also assigned to what I would call low-risk charges, like lower Cabinet Ministers, their spouses, state reps and even city mayors.

I think for those above, it's less about security and more about feeling better than everyone else on the road.

While I understand that outriders are doing their job, I don't think they should totally be let off the hook for the danger they put others in for the sake of their VIPs.

As for the VIPs, I think all the hate in the world should go to them for thinking that their time and little ego stroke is more important than taxpayers money and people's lives.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/why-you-like-that-wan/2019/02/12/attention-vips-with-outriders-no-one-cares-who-you-are/ 

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speakup agree with Nicholas, we have no respek for VIPS using outriders. we look down on them, cos they dunno how to manage their time.
12/02/2019 3:33 PM


 

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