KUALA LUMPUR: Policeman Zamri Hassan has only one piece of advice for those working under the scorching heat during the fasting month: be very, very patient.
FMT recently joined Zamri on one of his eight-hour patrol duties in Cheras, beginning under the noon-day sun and with about seven hours to go before he can quench his thirst with a nice, cold drink.
“During Ramadan, sometimes people lose their patience. When the police stop them after they are caught committing offences, they tend to get angry.
“When they get angry, they would try to provoke us by hurling expletives at us. We have to be very patient and professional,” said the corporal who is based at the Cheras district police headquarters (IPD).
Zamri, 43, has been a policeman for 22 years. On his patrol, he was accompanied by his junior, 26-year old Faiz Ali, who has been in the force for three years.
He said the district will get busier as the days approach Hari Raya Aidilfitri, notably at the Bandar Tasik Selatan express bus terminus, and on the highways as people make their way back to their hometowns.
But Zamri does not get to share the excitement that others feel. His job requires him to be at work night and day, sometimes even during Hari Raya.
When on duty, he has no time to think about breaking fast with his wife and children, or where to shop for Hari Raya, or whether he would be able to go to his hometown of Rembau, Negeri Sembilan this year.
In fact, there was no guarantee that he would be in Rembau for Hari Raya come May 3.
“This is our duty and sacrifice. My day is filled with conducting surveillance at banks, mosques, shops that operate for 24 hours, morning markets, Ramadan bazaars, and LRT stations (just to name a few).
“Recently, there was a missing child case at a school. Our presence at schools, monitoring kids, would increase confidence among the public, particularly teachers and parents,” he said.
Zamri added that he was ever ready to help those in need and there was no shortage of help required under the sun.
“You know, when someone’s car has a flat tire, we help to change that tire. If there’s an accident, we’ll be there for you too,” he said.
Twenty years ago, he narrowly missed a gunshot by a burglary suspect during a car chase, one of many memories that the cop said would forever be etched in his mind.
“It reminds me of my dedication to keep the community safe and catch criminals. I’m proud of my job and will continue to serve the community, even if that means I won’t get the chance to celebrate Hari Raya with my family,” he said.