PH01_110109_MAT_REMPIT

Former KL police chief, Datuk Dell Akbar Khan Hyder Khan is of the opinion that should street racing be permitted in Kuala Lumpur, a rise in gambling may be a consequence. Moreover, illegal street racing might continue even though the Mat Rempit are given a proper track to race on, The Star reports.

He explained that one thing may lead to another, starting with the Mat Rempit modifying their motorcycles. “You will then have the involvement of workshop operators, who will act as the racer’s ‘sponsors’ and this might lead to illegal betting,” he said. He noted that such an outcome might not happen, but is a possibility.

He also feels that it is impractical to close off city roads for racing, urging for authorities to look seriously into matters such as safety of spectators and riders as well as insurance coverage. Speaking of his past experience as deputy traffic police chief, he said that in the 80s, he had rounded up illegal racers, and later allowing them to race on the Shah Alam Racing circuit.

Unfortunately, the plan was abandoned just after two races. “We saw them racing on the way to the circuit and back home,” he noted. “The Federal Territories Minister has also got to look at how they disperse if they attend a sanctioned race. They might race in the public areas again,” Dell Akbar stated.

Meanwhile, Two Wheel Motor Racing promotions director Ron Hogg, feels that the safety of the public is the bigger issue at hand – should there be racing in the city. As organisers of the Malaysia Cub Prix Championship, he explained, “when we organise the Cub Prix, we close the road. The safety measures that have to be taken are immense.”

“For a 1 km track, we need more than 20 trailers filled with safety equipment to close the track,” Hogg revealed, adding that the riders, who are professionals are always properly geared for such events. Hogg suggested that it would be better to have smaller circuits around the country instead, if the government is looking to hold street races.

On the other hand, Musashi Boon Siew Honda team manager, Zulhelmi Ahmad feels that it would be better if a permanent course is created. As the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is the only place available to race, Zulhelmi said that it is too expensive, too far from KL and that there are limited time slots to race.

“For me, Mat Rempit are only using small bikes, not superbikes. They just want to ride with more speed and they don’t have a place where they can show their potential,” he said. Zulhelmi however, doesn’t think that gambling would be an issue. “I don’t think they want to gamble so much, they just want a place to enjoy riding,” he concluded.