Ask Lord Bobo: Handcuffed In A Jam

ALBstFrom the Selangor Times Issue 11, 11-13 February 2011. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!

This week, Ask Lord Bobo ponders when the cops can handcuff you, and reveals the REAL reason behind traffic jams!

Under what circumstances can Polis Diraja Malaysia use handcuffs on civilians? @sooncm, via Twitter

Chapter IV of the Criminal Procedure Code covers the area on arrest, escape and re-taking.

An arrest takes place when the police officer actually touches or confines the body of the person to be arrested [Section 15(1)]. If such person resists the arrest, the police officer “may use all means necessary to effect the arrest” [Section 15(2)].

An arrest is completed when there is a submission to the custody of the police by word or action. In cases where a suspected person is not arrested forthwith, care must be taken that the suspected person remains at liberty. No restraint of any kind may lawfully be exercised over him as long as he is not placed under arrest.

Handcuffs are necessarily used to prevent the suspect from escaping. Examples of these can be seen when you watch those crime-busting American TV shows like CSI, Criminal Minds or Law&Order — whenever there is a chase scene and they finally apprehend the suspect, the first thing they do is to smack handcuffs on the suspect.

Essentially, if there is no resistance, or danger of fleeing, the police officer may not use the handcuffs on civilians.

Whilst all the above is true in cold hard theory, reality is different. What is deemed as resistance or danger of fleeing can be very subjective. Perhaps the suspect’s ankle twitched? Or he scratched his thigh? Or didn’t respond fast enough to a question? Resistance! Potential to run! Handcuffs!

This of course is not to paint a bad picture of our hardworking police officers. This is true of police officers all over the world. But hey, put yourselves in their shoes. If you’re a lawyer, when you stand up in court, don’t you imagine yourself as someone from Boston Legal, LA Law or The Practice? If you’re a doctor doing your rounds, surely you occasionally pretend you’re one of those cool doctors from Chicago Hope, ER, Scrubs, or Gray’s Anatomy?

So, heck, if you were a police officer apprehending a suspect, you can be damn sure you’d sometimes want to indulge in a bit of Miami Vice, CSI, NYPD Blue, or Criminal Minds style get-down-stay-down, eat-the-road-punk, hands-where-I-can-see-em, which would inevitably lead to slappin’ on those shiny metal cuffs and hearing the oh-so-satisfying click.

Or, er, maybe that’s just us.


Dear Lord Bobo, why is Jalan Tun Razak always so jammed? @fahmi_fadzil, via Twitter

The jams of Jalan Tun Razak are one of the many great mysteries of Malaysia. It ranks alongside the half-built Johor-Singapore bridge and the Crystal Mosque in a Terengganu forest.

Occult researchers who have spent many years studying the phenomenon attribute it to the coming of Balroghaugh, Lord Bobo’s arch-enemy, from Planet Zaboo. Cutting edge astrologers are unanimous it is due to Uranus (no, not yours) wanting to steal one of Jupiter’s rings in the house of the Bronzed Illama.

Despite either of the above explanations being equally plausible, LoyarBurok traffic analysts strongly believe the manifestations of jams on Jalan Tun Razak are due to more mundane factors such as –

  • impatient drivers cutting lanes and jamming themselves into the smallest of crevices (no, not those ones);
  • moronic drivers in the wrong lane who wait until the last 3 cm before they deem it the most opportune time to switch the correct lane;
  • the poor quality of roads and senseless road management;
  • police who think their job is standing around hand on hips with the occasional wave and blow (no, not that type); and
  • too many personal vehicles on the road and too much development in Kuala Lumpur without proper urban planning.

LoyarBurok would advise you to avoid Jalan Tun Razak whenever able, or better yet, avoid Kuala Lumpur altogether. But then again, that would just move the jams elsewhere, wouldn’t it?

Heck, what’s the big problem anyway? Traffic jams are a part of Malaysian life. Lord Bobo knows that many productive things (no, not those sorta things) get done in traffic jams. Just talking about the blawg, many comments come via mobile devices during traffic jams. Heck, entire articles get thought-up, written, submitted, and published during traffic jams! Also, just like the stereotypical Brit loves talking about the weather, Malaysians love talking about jams. “Wah, traffic today damn bad ah.” / “Okaylah, not too bad what.” / “Eh, which road you took lah, how come can get here so fast?” / “Come lah, I tell you this shortcut, you turn off after the bus-stop right, then you go left into the lorong at the 7-Eleven there ah, after that you use the left lane you know, the right lane very slow one, ah, then you curi-curi cut the double-line go into the alley there, then you see lah, you’re back on the main road but further up. Can save 5 minutes you know!”

Imagine if traffic jams suddenly cleared up. What would Malaysians use as a conversation ice-breaker? Worse — everyone would get to their destinations early! What would happen to “Malaysian timing”? It would be chaos. The space-time continuum may be jeopardised!

So, get to you know your traffic jams.

Embrace them.

Find out what their hobbies are.

Love them.

They are an essential part of the fabric of Malaysian society.

Although Lord Bobo already knows your question before you even knew you had a question, as a practical display of your true desire to have your query answered, His Supreme Eminenceness has graciously allowed you to communicate your questions by -

  • emailing [email protected], stating your full name, and a pseudonym if you wish the question to be published anonymously (and a good reason for anonymity).
  • tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo.

The first 100 questions published will receive LoyarBurok’s ONLY merchandise you ever need (worth a lot for humankind) courtesy of Selangor Times. Now, what the hell are you waiting for? Hear This and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!

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Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered! It is the ONLY place that His Supreme Eminenceness' thoughts are regularly channeled, via His Lordship's most loyal meditating purple-banana munching minions.

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