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Encounter with possibly corrupt cop stirs discussion in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR--An online article describing a Taiwanese traveler's unpleasant experience in Malaysia has caused widespread discussion here.

The article, titled “Legal Gun-toting Gangster in Langkawi,” was posted on backpackers.com, a popular website for the exchange of travel information.

According to the article, the author and seven companions were traveling on the island of Langkawi in a rented car when they were stopped by a policeman, who asked to see their international driving licenses.

The policeman told them they had been speeding and that there were too many people in the car. He said the fine for the offences was 300 Malaysian ringgit (US$97).

In an attempt to issue another fine, the policeman then said that passengers on back seats had not been wearing seat belts, and requested them to hand over their passports.

During subsequent communications, the author said it became apparent that the situation was not going to be solved easily.

Just then, however, the policeman offered the travelers a way out, saying that if they paid 500 ringgit “off the books,” they could leave with their hired car and no police would trouble them.

According to the article, the author's friends secretly recorded the conversation with the policeman and took his picture, which they delivered to Taiwan's representative office in Malaysia.

The office then turned over the evidence to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation.

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