A proposal to allow police to detain or take action against motorcycle hooligans, colloquially known as “mat rempit”, is on the cards, according to deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed. In a Bernama report, Nur Jazlan was commenting on a statement made by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, on mat rempit causing a nuisance in Johor Baru.

These motorcycle hooligans are alleged to have turned a stretch of Jalan Pantai Lido in front of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru into an illegal racetrack. “With the new laws, the police can take action to dismiss these groups and arrest those who are still stubborn,” said Nur Jazlan.

“The laws on anti-social behaviour is not a curfew order. (In fact,) the police have carried out their responsibilities very well. However, police will have more powers to take action against Mat Rempit groups with the introduction of the new laws,” he said.

Sultan Ibrahim posted on his Facebook that he had received complaints from hospital patients about the noise from the modified motorcycles, especially late in the night. Sultan Ibrahim urged police to take stern action against these motorcycle hooligans.

“The Mat Rempit menace is not only happening in Johor but also in other states. Now, they have turned ‘sensitive’ areas like hospitals and schools into racing venues, and they don’t have any respect (for the people),” said Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd, adding that police will be cracking down on law breakers.

Nur Jazlan said the law, which is still at proposal stage, was mooted following an accident that claimed the lives of eight teenagers last year. “The Mat Rempit groups also involve minors, whereby police do not have the authority to arrest them. With the anti-social behaviour laws, the police can take action against parents who allow their children to get involved in such activities,” said Nur Jazlan.