Something incredible has been happening during Unspun‘s morning treks to the gym and back: policeman were actually vigilant next to busy interactions and – get this – they were even directing traffic!
This is normal in other countries but in Indonesia where the police have the reputation as the most corrupt institution, policemen doing their jobs is actually abnormal.
Usually the only time a driver or motorist would have contact with the police is when they have committed an obscure traffic violation and the policespring out from whatever bush they were hiding behind to shake them down for a bribe.
But with the new police chief in charge things seem to have changed. Or have they? As the story in The Jakarta Post below demonstrates, skepticism runs deep where the police are concerned. There have been too many cases of new brooms sweeping clean that even when the service has improved at the Integrated Service Office (Samsat) in Daan Mogot for the past two years at least (Unspun has to make a pilgrimage there every year to renew his car license) the conventional wisdom is that it is too good to be true.
Is this a case where an institution is doing the right thing but is unable to communicate how well it is doing? If you were the Chief of Police how would you go about changing the perception of the police as a bunch of low level crooks?
Police service improvements: How long will they last?
Desy Nurhayati , THE JAKARTA POST , JAKARTA | Tue, 02/10/2009 11:14 AM | Cit
Although the police force was dubbed the most bribe-riddled institution by a recent survey, some people have acknowledged improvements in the administration of police services.
Drivers said they had noticed improvements when applying for licenses or arranging renewals.
Rather than a strict adherence to its motto, “Serving and protecting the community”, the police were believed only to be ready to serve when the money was ready.
But sentiment among drivers at the Integrated Service Office (Samsat) in Daan Mogot, West Jakarta, was a little different.
“When applying for a driver’s license, service should be just like this, quick and with no extra fees,” said Ameria, a Pasar Minggu resident renewing his license at Samsat.