Kuala Lumpur: Putting a nice face on state repression

[The Inspector General of Police in Kuala Lumpur is instructing cops that, no matter what they do, do it with a smiley face; put the iron fists in velvet gloves. — Frontlines ed.]

Be good to look good

KL: A more approachable police force
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 10:50:00

INSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar was recently reported to have said good-looking police officers would be assigned to give the force a friendlier look.

We should be aware we are always communicating through our facial expressions, posture and gestures, without saying a word.

When talking to others, our visual appearance has greater impact than our tone of voice. Surprisingly, what words we use matter less than how we use them.

Therefore, it is essential to look good to others rather than to just be good-looking. Even those with good looks can appear uglier when angry.

They must also develop what they have between their ears and their hearts to look kind.

Any good-hearted person is beautiful. A person with such virtue naturally displays courtesy that can be easily seen and felt by others.

Lest we forget, courtesy and morality is included in our national philosophy, the Rukunegara.

To promote courtesy in the tourism industry, a national travel association offers training workshops for both the public and private sectors.

Participants discuss their concerns in any of the fifty tourism sub-sectors found in the workbook which contains 350 questions to help raise their level of awareness.

For example, the first two questions on the police are: “Were the presence of police officers reassuring or intimidating?” and “Do they seem approachable or otherwise?”

After learning about sentiments and courtesy in a workshop, participants are required to pledge to be more courteous and keep practicing it until it becomes a habit.

Raising our level of courtesy can improve the quality of life more than any other initiative. Displaying courtesy can prevent and stop petty quarrels and unnecessary arguments.

The onus to show courtesy lies with every individual and organisation. To be more courteous, we need to raise our emotional intelligence.

I made the mistake of wearing a stern look inspired by Sean Connery (James Bond) in my teenage years, falsely thinking it would make me appear more macho.

After several decades, it has still not worn off. I regret not showing courtesy with a friendlier look. As such, it is easy to understand why some police officers can look fierce, considering what they have to put up with.

Happily, all this is set to change. If successful, it will be a great transformation for the Royal Malaysian Police and a great legacy for our IGP.

YS Chan

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