The Lovable Mat Rempits?


I think internally there is a competition among the politicians in this country to come up with the wildest, dumbest ideas. And the latest one that have hit the headlines is the one that deals with allowing pesky Mat Rempits aka public nuisance to race on public streets.

Road safety experts expressed regret and disbelief over a proposal to legalise ‘Mat Rempit‘ racing. The experts who spoke to theSun, raised grave concerns on whether the government would take responsibility should bodily injury or loss of lives occur during such races.

Their concerns come in the wake of a proposal earlier this week by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to allow bikers to race in certain parts of the capital city to curb the tendency of “Mat Rempits” who speed in residential and commercial areas.

Universiti Sains Malaysia deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah described the proposal as risky and a disservice to road safety.

(Source)

And even it leaves the police in disbelief with the Minister’s ambitions (remember the police declared war on Mat Rempits calling them the cancer of the society?):-

Inspector-General Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar wants to meet Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor over the plan to close certain city roads and allow motorcyclists to race.

“I believe he has his reasons to propose it. I want to meet him to discuss it,” Khalid told reporters at the Bukit Aman police headquarters here.

“I will meet him first to see what his views are,” he said when asked to comment further on the matter.

(Source)

And not leaving the nuisance in the West Malaysia, there were even plans to bring over the nuisance to the East Malaysia:-

The plan to provide motorcycle racing tracks in the city is still on the table, with the possibility of extending the proposal to East Malaysia as well.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that the matter was among the issues discussed at a meeting with other Federal Territories Members of Parliament (MPs) at the ministry today.

“I have discussed the ‘Mat Motor’ issues, and I want to solve the matter at hand,” he said, adding that he is looking for a way to provide space to allow motorcycle racers to do what they are interested in.

He said the move would also help tackle syndicates involved in illegal betting who use “Mat Rempits” for their own financial gains.

(Source)

And the insurance companies were quick to wash their hands off of the proposed plan by the Minister:-

Meanwhile, Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) said motorcycle insurance policy does not cover activities as racing and it is an exclusion under the policy.

PIAM said any such activity is done at the rider’s own risk and if they injure a third party or damage another person’s property, they will be personally responsible for any damage costs.

“In the event an Insurer (Insurance Company) is held liable to pay by virtue of the provisions under Section 96 of the Road Transport Act, the insurer can seek indemnity from the motorcycle owner and/or rider,” it said.

(Source)

At the end of the day, everyone is against the idea of allowing Mat Rempits running loose on public roads – all except the Honorable Minister. What the police need to do is this – agree to the Minister’s idea and when the Mat Rempits shows up with their bikes, round them up like rounding up some cattles and charge them on endangering other road users.

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Childhood Memories Part 15


Please read the rest of the series here

Still remember the time when Formula 1 was unknown and a distant away? All we had back then was Rothmans Honda, Lucky Strike Suzuki and Marlboro Yamaha. I still remember entering my uncle’s room one day and there on the wall, was a large poster of Kevin Schwantz taking a corner on his Lucky Strike Suzuki.

Me and my cousins used to get excited whenever we see replicas of the Rothmans Honda, Lucky Strike Suzuki or Marlboro Yamaha on Malaysia roads (although it is not of the same model). The Motorcycle Grand Prix came in 3 classes – 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc. One needs to agree that the most intensive competition lies in the 125 cc class but at the end of the day, the juicy stuff lies in the 500 cc class.

Rothmans Honda

Freddie Spencer / Wayne Gardner and Rothmans Honda

One of the most outstanding achievement by Freddie is being the 250cc and 500cc World Champion on the same year. I still recall watching Fast Freddie way up in the front, riding rather casually whilst the nearest competitors fighting off for the second place. Wayne Gardner continued carrying the Rothmans Honda challenge thereafter to be the first World Champion from Australia (way before Mick Doohan came into the picture)

Malboro Yamaha

Eddie Lawson and Marlboro Yamaha

The 4 times world champion and was the one who everyone else would try to outrun. Steady Eddie was Kenny Roberts’ partner before taking helm at the team.

Lucky Strike Suzuki

Kevin Schwantz and Lucky Strike Suzuki

Kevin Schwantz was a blast with the corners – he introduces the sliding when taking corners. This way he was able to catch up with the front runners when they slowed down for the corners. He was battling with Wayne Rainey for the championship and managed to be one in 1993.

Whilst the riders are the main focus when we were watching the Grand Prix on the television, the colourful bikes was the focus especially on the colour of the tire rims as the riders were taking the corners.