Monday, May 25, 2009
The Mat Rempit menace
When I read the following article in The Sunday Times I was rather ... what's the word? Bemused? I also don't know la. But I do know that this thing with those young flers on their souped-up little motorcycles has been going on for just a bit too long without resolution. Remembering what's happened in the past I can't help but think that the 'authorities', whoever they might be, have just not been quite resolute about how they intend to deal with it. Not beyond making some polite noises whenever the occasions called for it. Or making half-ass excuses for their inaction and/or ineffectiveness. Well, they did do something years ago when those motor flers first began to gain celebrity status. The 'authorities' gave them a really cool name. Mat Rempit!!! Then all of a sudden being a hell-raising motorcycle hooligan became quite the thing to aspire to among certain youth. From then on the MR flers have been steadily rising in notoriety and getting themselves into front page news on a regular basis. Most recently they hit the headlines when it was reported that it was one of them who caused the death of an expectant mother after a botched snatch-theft attempt. The usual hue-and-cry hit the headlines. Again. The police, as usual, threw up their hands in resigned desperation. And in the process re-named these motorcycle mavericks. Road Thugs!!! Samseng Jalanan!!!
Mat Rempit. Samseng Jalanan. Road Thugs. Doesn't really matter what we call them. Fact of the matter is, there seems to be nothing anyone can do about this menace. Why? Well, maybe this statement by the new Youth & Sports Minister will shed some light. I am not going to comment on his statement at all. You read it and then draw your own conclusions as to why Malaysia can't solve a problem such as this. Enjoy! But don't get too angry okay? And try not to foam at the mouth like the YB tends to do.
The "road thugs" (samseng jalanan) label given to Mat Rempit, youths with a penchant for street racing is a bit too much, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
He said only a handful of Mat Rempit were involved in crime while the majority were just ordinary youths looking for some fun.
"This explosion of culture happens in many countries like that shown in movies like Tokyo Drift and The Fast and The Furious," he said after presenting prizes to "Golf Amal 2009" participants at Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak here yesterday.
Shabery said the scenario was similar to that during the 1980s when the community was against the craze for Scrambler motorcycles and Breakdance.
Despite disagreeing with the label, the minister said Mat Rempit groups were looking for trouble racing in the streets rather than at the tracks.
"Mat Rempit are not interested in real racing. They can always join racing clubs if they want to. The closure of Batu Tiga track and the distance of Sepang track is not an excuse. Building more race tracks is not the solution. They just want to show off to other road users."
Shabery urged the authorities to tackle the Mat Rempit problem at the source, particularly the role of parents as most of the motorcycles used were owned by family members. -- Bernama
What a nice Youth minister! And of course he ends by blaming the parents lor. Eh? Sorry, I said I wouldn't comment. Maaf ye?