KUALA LUMPUR: Those involved in illegal street motor racing should not be glorified with titles, including mat rempit.
Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM) information chief Mohammad Rizan Hassan said giving the group a specific name would make them think that they were part of a special group in society, when in fact their activities were a crime.
“For the public, the label ‘mat rempit’ has a negative connotation. For these groups, they think it means that they are ‘bold’ and ‘daring’,” said Rizan, adding that calling them mat rempit would only fan their ego.
“They are attention seekers. They are proud of who they are, so we must stop glorifying them with the title. That’s the first step if we want to eradicate this culture.”
Rizan said the mat rempit trend had to be dealt with urgently as they raced illegally and were a nuisance to others.
“Bravado sets in and some of them have been known to be involved in crimes, like snatch theft.
“There have been many operations by authorities to contain mat rempit, but the culture is not close to being quashed .
“Perhaps, police and the authorities should cooperate and think of more efficient ways to tackle the problem.”
Rizan said these riders, mostly in their late teens or early adulthood, would be valuable assets to their communities if society helped them change.
Rizan said MBM had initiated a project called the Youth Social Agenda.
“It’s a project where we engage mat rempit and show them ways to explore their potential.
“We become their friends and provide them with opportunities. Some of them are now mechanics and are also involved in many legal motorcycle racing projects. They are running businesses by operating their own workshops.”
He said MBM had also encouraged and supported many legal motorcycle events, such as Santai Anak Utara, Retromania, Road Rumble, RX Mega Gathering and Mega Gathering 125Z.