When It Is OK To Turn At A Red Light

In the post, I thought of pulling out a good conversation between one of our blog reader and Cikgu Yap.

It’s been while and the conversation has been buried deep in the comment column and it is quite difficult to access. There are some valuable information and I’ve decided to bring it into its own post so other readers can find it easily.

When It Is It OK To Turn At A Red Light In Malaysia

Back in 8th September 2014, one of our readers, Mr. Wong wrote in with the following question.

I was at a traffic junction to make a right turn. There is a “green” light followed by a “green arrow” light. Seeing the green light and all clear (for oncoming cars) I made a right turn without waiting for the green arrow.

Police car stopped me and issued a non-compoundable ticket. I have to appear in court. He wrote: “Tidak mematuhi lampu isyarat merah.”

What should I do? Just appear in court? Btw is it a long waiting process in court? Thank you.

The following is the response from Cikgu Yap.

Dear Wong,

This blog writer has been a driving instructor for more than 40 years. Also, I’ve been a lecturer for the ‘Highway Code’ for over 25 years or so. In reality, I’ve been waiting for such a long time for a question like yours to be asked. Thank you for raising such an interesting question.

Firstly, not all ‘enforcement’ officials, including police officers, are well-versed with the laws. Even, if indeed they are, there remains the possibility of ‘differing’ opinions existing.

Your non-compoundable summons clearly means you have to mandatorily appear in court. And this I believe, is in fast a ‘blessing’ in disguise. You now have the rare opportunity to come face-to-face with a learned judge or ‘hakim’. This blog writer believes, you will be given the correct and ‘fair’ judgement this time around.

Now, let’s come to the question of ‘injustice’, whereby what you did was ‘wrongfully’ adjudged as an OFFENCE by the patrol car officers. My long years in driving tells me that at traffic light junctions that has a ROUND green light, PERMITS a driver to proceed on with his journey (that is to turn right). When in court, and faced with the learned judge/hakim, do not feel afraid. Ask the magistrate or judge, what does ‘green’ in fact indicate? GREEN in reality means ‘go right ahead’. It also means making ‘a right turn as well’, which you indeed correctly made.

Under earlier British traffic rules, which our country followed prior to the days of independence in 1957, however, a driver wishing not to wait for the green arrow to light up before making a turn right must ensure that no on-coming traffic is approaching whilst he makes the turn. Otherwise, he will be making an illegal turn. You categorically stated that the lane ahead was free of traffic, you have made no obstruction at all to on-coming traffic!

When you or your counsel put forward such a ‘premise’ above to the learned hakim/judge, it will without a doubt, create a ‘benefit of the doubt’ in the mind of the above-mentioned person in reference. In law, whenever such a thing occurs, the learned judge/magistrate WILL NOT make a judgement which is DETRIMENTAL towards you. ‘Benefit of doubt’ in this case ought to prevail, I am sure.

To conclude my answer to you as what you should do with regards to your problem, after explaining to the court what I’ve suggested, conclude by saying ‘Your honour, under the above circumstances I therefore PLEAD, not guilty!’

So there you are Mr. Wong, go ahead, appear in court, Waiting for the case to appear will undoubtedly put you under lots of pressure. But I feel, it’s all worth it. Best of luck, this blog send you!

On 12th of September 2014, Mr. Wong wrote in again with the following:

Thank you very much Cikgu for your words of encouragement. What I am more worried are the words written on the summons which says “Tidak mematuhi lampu isyarat merah” which seems to imply that I did not obey the RED stop sign.

Like a law abiding citizen, I signed for and accepted the summons without question. I also did not attempt to offer any “incentives”. Now I have to waste a day to attend court hearing. Just wondering if there is any authority I can turn to, to strike this off?

A few months went by and Mr. Wong wrote to our blog again on 9th January 2015:

Dear Cikgu Yap
I just thought I should drop by again and give closure to my question raised on Sept 8, 2014. It has been a long-drawn process as is common with court cases. I read very carefully your advice and it was indeed very helpful. I went back to the scene of the incident and took some photos of the traffic lights and also a general view of the traffic junction. I also printed out your answer to me in case I had to “quote” you. On my first visit to the court, I was nervous, not knowing what to expect. It turned out, the court magistrate is a young man who was quite lenient. I felt re-assured after hearing some of the other cases.. most times the magistrate would asked the defendants whether they wanted a lighter fine and the reasons why. When my turn was up, I was asked if I wanted to plead guilty and my answer was no. My case was then adjourned for hearing a month later. During my second visit, I was asked again if I wanted to plead guilty, again I said no and so my case was adjourned again for the final “bicara”. Outside the courtroom, of course, there were “hints” that all this could have been settled rather easily and if I really want to attend the third hearing called “bicara” I might have to engage a lawyer and so on — I just ignored what was said to me and walked in and out of the courtroom confidently.

So today, almost 5 months since the incident, I attended the “bicara” on my third visit to the court. I was getting quite confident and quite used to court etiquette etc… addressing the magistrate as “Yang Ariff”, putting my arms behind my back, bowing before the magistrate etc. Mine was the first case called to session. To my surprise, and without my well-prepared defense speech being needed, the PDRM spokesperson announced that they have decided to withdraw the case. I guess their own lawyers must have studied the case beforehand. The two officers who issued me the tickets were also summoned to the court in case their testimony was needed. Outside the courtroom, I jokingly told the officer who issued me the ticket that he had wasted not only my time but the court’s as well. He, himself, had to ride his motorbike from his home in Kajang to attend the bicara. For me, it was only a 15 mins drive as I live quite nearby. Anyway I shook his hands and acknowledged that he was just doing his job… although not very well.

My final advice to all. Don’t be tempted to offer bribes especially if it’s a grey area or you are not entirely wrong. Under the law, there are factors called “mitigating circumstances”. Even for clear-cut offenders, there is an avenue to plead for leniency eg if you are sole breadwinner and low wage earner etc. Most times, the magistrate just want you to know that you have committed an offence and must pay for it, the amount can be “bargained” and in most cases it is affordable according to your economic circumstances. But be sensible, of course. One guy was caught speeding in a Toyota Estima and he claimed to be poor!

Anyway, my deepest thanks to you you, Cikgu Yap for your invaluable advice. :)

Finally, Cikgu Yap responded with the following:

Dear Wong, Sorry you had to go through a long, tedious court proceedings. Anyway your fine be overthrown is definitely this blog’s success. Good for you!

Eye Problems Faced By New Car and Motorcycle Learners

Faced by the above eye maladies such as colour blindness, request your instructor for assistance. You should be brought to any state transport department for help.

In Selangor, the state transport department is at Padang Jawa, Klang. See the department top officials. Get the necessary form to undergo an eye test.

Any government clinic or hospital should also be of help. A good eye clinic or approved optician should be able to help you too.

Speaking about the required procedure for an eye test, ideally get a “Permohonan Surat Perakuan Kesihatan Penglihatan Calon / OKU”. Then fill up details such as Name, IC number and the type of letter you are supplied by the JPJ.

Upon completion of your eye test, you then have to submit it back to JPJ. The above authorities will normally require some time to get back to you with your results. In the meantime, be patient.

Normally, if all goes well, you will be allowed to undergo the necessary computer test at one of the centres, such as MYEG or MYSPEED.

Hopefully, students who have eye problems will now know what to do exactly. So it is hoped that this short article will be of assistance to you and your driving school instructor.

Of course, you will then have to attend the KPP 6 hours course at one of the leading driving institutes around town.

If I Were a Millionaire, What Would I Do?

In Malaysia, in the Hokkien singing arena, exists a well known and lively song, entitled “If I Were a Millionaire”.

The singer goes on to fantasies what he would do if he were to become a millionaire one day. Among his dreams if it were to come true, is to travel in a posh airline. And of course, buy an air con too.

Like everyone else, this humble driving school instructor, also has dreams and fantasies. After all, it’s not wrong to “build castles in the air”, so to say.

Winning a jackpot at the casino Genting, striking it big at 4D lottery or even a Social Welfare draw, represents one of my dreams. I may or may not see my dreams come to pass.

Even though the above may seem a one in a million chance, nevertheless, the possibility is always there! Only God knows. Only He determines our fate, I believe.

In the mean time, we have to wait and be patient. Being the kind hearted person that I happen to be, my wife, Mary, is of the opinion that should I happen to strike it rich one day, I wouldn’t be a millionaire for too long.

You see, I care too much for mankind, for the poor and destitute, the forlorn and the suffering. From day one, when and if I become a millionaire, I would begin dishing out aids and donations to one and all.

Didn’t I tell you what kind of person I am right from the beginning?

Before I continue any further, let me divulge to you one thing. As a school boy way back in the 1960’s or 70’s, I once wrote to Madame Zalora in England, I think, asking her about my life and what sort of person I actually was. Her reply to me was straight and simple.

“You”, she advised, will not see fortune easily, because you have a heart that is as big as a “house”. You in fact if far too kind hearted to become a rich person or a millionaire”, so to say.

Now, you know why my spouse holds to her conviction regarding myself.

Before continuing any further with this empirical episode about anyone becoming a millionaire and what not, allow me to relate you a real life story that happened to me.

In the 1980’s, when I was in my Klang primary school days, in ACS Primary school then, my football master, a Mr TS Kon from Kuala Lumpur, who was a humble and kind hearted sort of guy, was said to have been lucky and struck it rich in the lotteries. The above master was said to have won the 3rd prize Social Welfare Lottery draw, winning, believe it or not, a sum or one hundred thousand ringgit.

The sum may not seem very much to you and I, but do not fait to forget, during the days of 1960’s and 70’s, it was a lot of money though!

Being the prudent and wise person that he was, Mr Kon gave up his teaching practice. He then venture into the printing industry, to be exact the Preston Times, Petaling Jaya.

He was said to have done fairly well. Later on, my master then bought over a lot of shares in Guiness Stout beer industry in Sungei Way.

One more thing, I should rightly let you know is, that my footballer master, I believe, was not too bother about striking it rich, but was more interested in chasing his other dream, which actually was his bubbly, short haired damsel, Rosie, whom he fancied very much.

But as they say, God decide to do things otherwise.

Now, let’s come back to those episode of what I’ll do if I were to become a millionaire one day.

1) Extending assistance to sibling and family.

Coming from a father poor family, with a lorry driver father, my younger days at Teluk Pulai Road in Kampung Martin, to be exact, my siblings, comprising of 3 brothers and a sister, and of course mum, went through a difficult and hard life.

So, it is only right and appropriate that the very first thing I’ll do, if I become a millionaire, is to extend assistance to my siblings. At least, as a brother, to try to lighten the financial burden they have been laden with all these while.

Many people who have struck it rich at the lotteries, win a jackpot or the Social Welfare draw, will, I believe, not hesitate to buy a big house, a big luxurious car, go for an expensive holiday, or even visit the night clubs and what not. But this instructor isn’t like that.

Instead, I will …

2) Donations to be handed to schools and charitable organisations.

Donation to charity organisations will be made. Help to the above organisations will be rendered.

Schools, like my alma mater (ACS), High School Klang, Sultan Abdul Samad, the MGS and Convert Klang and other deserving schools will surely get a share of my donations.

Charitable organizations, the Red Crescent, St. John Ambulance Brigade, Scouting bodies like the 5th Klang Group (ACS) and the 1st Klang Group of High School Klang, will deservedly get my attention, let me tell you.

3) Donations to be handed to churches, temples and Muslim welfare homes and mosques and surau will also be given assistance.

Without a doubt, temples, churches, mosques and all charitable and welfare homes will stand to gain, should I become a millionaire one fine day.

4) Poor folks and families.

There surely must be many poor families in the vicinity of Klang town. Families, who find it difficult to buy their children’s books, pay bus fares, have insufficient money for school tuck shops , meals, buy school shoes and socks for their going children, do not fail to contact this “would be millionaire”.

Don’t forget, they say, it’s easier said than done. After all, how do you know what to say here will be carried out? Unless the Almighty God does what is rightly to be done.

I can go on and on, but as they say, I’ll will first have to strike it rich, and as the famous Hokkien song says, for the moment, I’ll only dream and retort “If I were to become a millionaire, what will I do!”

In the meantime, wish me good luck!

Best of luck to yourself too. Who knows, you might become rich before I do. Why not think carefully about what I have reiterated here in this episode. Anyway, it is worthwhile dream. Think about it, you have nothing to lose but all to gain.

I am the opinion that if ever God decides to alter your life, he surely must wish that you become a good person and expects your to do worthwhile things in your lifetime.