Police crack down on Malaysian stunt bikers

April 22nd, 2009 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, April 22 (IANS) The police have declared war on Mat Rempits, the young Malaysian bikers who race and perform dangerous stunts on the streets and are also associated with crimes like drug-trafficking and robbery.
Mat Rempit is a Malay term for the illegal street racers who say they do the stunts to get over the stress of modern society.

Not all Mat Rempits are involved in street racing; some of them perform stunts such as the wheelie, superman (lying flat on the seat), and scorpion (standing on the seat with one leg during a wheelie).

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan Tuesday said that police were carrying out a nationwide crackdown on illegal racers, and vowed to put a stop to all their activities, including crimes they commit.

Hassan told Sin Chew Daily he had directed all state police chiefs to take effective measures to remove this cancer of the society.

“Police have planned a series of raids, arrests and preventive strategies. These strategies have been launched in stages with state police chiefs being put in charge of the implementation,” The Sun quoted him as saying.

He stressed that the activities of Mat Rempit gangs have given rise to a sense of insecurity among the public but the current police blitz will ensure that those who are in contempt of the law are punished.

Federal Criminal Investigation Department Director Bakri Zinin said there are several reasons why youngsters are involved in illegal street racing.

The youngsters claim there is no proper place for them to relax during their spare time.

“They told us (police) that wherever they go they have to pay; and that is why they are involved in illegal racing, just to release tension and relax,” he said, adding that they don’t have to pay for illegal racing.

Zinin said it was very difficult to track down these people as the police could only take action according to the law.

“We can’t be arresting all the Mat Rempits as not all of them are involved in criminal activities.

“When we arrest them, they admit being involved in illegal racing and not in criminal activities. And we don’t have proof that they are criminals,” he added.

An official statement released Tuesday said that 77 operations were conducted against the Mat Rempit since January with 181 of the bikers being arrested.

Web site Campur.net says many youths in India also perform stunts on the street while riding bikes. They are shown telephoning or texting while reclining on the bike.

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