The police are looking to include environmental legislation as another method of dealing with Mat Rempit, according to a report by NST. This is in addition to laws on dangerous driving and drugs that are currently being used to tackle the issue.

Police deputy director, Superintendent Mustafa Bakri Salleh, said the department would engage the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to hold Mat Rempit liable for noise pollution. Under the law, generated noise beyond 75 decibels (dB) is considered as pollution.

He also stated more spot checks will be done under Op Samseng Jalanan, where the authorities would check for modified machines with exhaust pipes that are deliberately altered to induce loud noises.

A technical team from the ministry, which would be part of the enforcement team, would carry out on-the-spot tests for action to be taken under Section 23 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974. Under the act, offenders can be slapped with a maximum fine of RM100,000 or jailed not more than five years, or both.

However, Mustafa noted there was a loophole in the law which allowed Mat Rempit to reclaim their modified motorcycles once the legal process was concluded. “Seized modified motorcycles are usually returned to the offenders’ families. We usually advise the offenders’ family members to restore the bikes to the original specifications,” he said, adding that there are no plans to review the Road Transport Act 1987.

Offences under Section 42(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 carry up to five years’ mandatory jail and fines between RM5,000 and RM15,000. Mustafa also added the police relied on Section 279 of the Penal Code when dealing with Mat Rempit, which carries a maximum jail term of six months, a RM2,000 fine, or both.

The Mat Rempit issue was reinvigorated when Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar voiced his disapproval with motorcyclists who used the stretch in Jalan Pantai Lido in Johor Baru as their race track. He said the actions of these individuals caused patients at the nearby Sultanah Aminah Hospital to suffer sleepless nights due to the loud noises from the modified motorcycles.

“The Mat Rempit culture will continue as long as parents don’t play their vital roles in monitoring their children. The culture has been passed on from generation to generation. They do what they do for cheap thrills and to show off their skills doing wheelies, superman (lying on the stomach while riding) and scorpion (the rider stands on one foot during a wheelie),” said Mustafa.