An all-out effort will be made to eradicate the menace of motorcycle hooligans, colloquially known as mat rempit, from streets and highways in Selangor. Measures will include locating all unauthorised exits and narrow roads leading from housing estates to highways, commonly used by mat rempit as escape routes during police operations.

Damaged fencing along toll highways has also been used by these road recalcitrants as escape routes, and police are aware of this, calling all such exit points “rat holes.” This was said by Selangor traffic chief Supt Kamaludin Mohamad in a The Star report, with motorcyclists wanting to avoid confrontation with the law knowing where to run.

“We have informed the highway concessionaires – Besraya and Kesas – to repair damaged fences along the highway,” he said, in reference to locations where mat rempit commonly held their illegal races. According to Supt Kamaludin, mat rempit mainly comprised of youth – school-leavers, the unemployed or part-time workers.

“The police have ongoing campaigns and talks at schools and public universities, called Gempak Mufor, to educate youths about the dangers of street racing,” said Supt Kamaludin. He added parents should be aware of their children’s whereabouts and activities, especially late at night and in the early hours.

A zero tolerance campaign on road infractions in all 15 districts in Selangor has been ongoing since October 14 last year, Supt Kamaludin said. “The police are planning to use a new technology to catch the culprits during the next raid,” he warned.

From the beginning of the campaign to February 6 of this year, police issued summonses to 171,619 motorcyclists for not having a licence (54,507), no road tax (10,751), not wearing helmet (7,688), and for causing obstruction (98,673). In addition, the Road Transport department (JPJ) issued summonses to 533 motorcyclists over the last two weeks of the Chinese New Year break in three separate operations.

The police and JPJ will be collaborating in an effort to remove the mat rempit menace through regular raids, joint roadblocks as well as awareness programmes. “I believe that with educating the youths through our programmes, it will stop these mat rempit from racing on the road, endangering themselves and other motorists,” said Selangor JPJ director Nazli Md Taib.

“We try to rehabilitate those caught by educating them through various programmes to change them to be better citizens,” he said. What do you think? Are the authorities doing enough to curb illegal racing – both four- and two-wheeled – on the roads, or are stricter measures required?