The police will be continuous monitoring throughout the country to keep Mat Lajak cyclists off the road. This was declared by Bukit Aman traffic investigation and enforcement department (JSPT) director Comm Datuk Mat Kasim Karim, who told The Star that the mods to the bicycles are outrageous and they should not be on the road.

“Modifications made to these bicycles are outrageous. These bikes should not be on the road as they do not follow the specifications,” he said, referring to the “mosquito bikes” a.k.a. “basikal lajak” used by Mat Lajak, modded for speed and Superman-style stunts. No brakes, too.

Of course, Mat Lajaks are in the news because of the last week’s high court sentencing of Sam Ke Ting to six years jail for reckless driving (that’s the charge, not our words). That tragic 2017 incident saw the death of eight boys riding modified bicycles on a major road in JB in the wee hours of the morning.

Mat Kasim said action would be taken against those who break the rules, but advised parents to be more involved in their children’s activities. “Parents have a role to play; so does the local community. We don’t want the same tragedy to happen again,” he said.

JSPT principal assistant director Supt Bakri Zainal Abidin said 156 Mat Lajak were arrested in 2019 and 2020. Over 60% of the cases involved children age 12 and below, and most of them were caught in KL and Selangor. All their bikes were confiscated. However, no arrests were made last year due to the movement control order.

After this menace resurfaced in the mainstream because of Sam’s case, many videos of Mat Lajak and their antics on the road appeared on social media, but Bakri said that many of them are old videos that resurfaced. “However, we will continue to monitor such activities nationwide,” he said.

The JSPT cop also said that Mat Lajak activities seemed to have subsided when the authorities started to take action against parents for negligence under the Child Act. In 2019, action was taken against six parents for leaving their children unsupervised, and this seemed to have worked.

It’s hard to find a bright side to Sam’s case – eight lives were claimed, she’s probably mentally scarred for life, and now has to face years in jail and the public glare – but perhaps the spotlight on Mat Lajak and their parents will put an end to this dangerous activity. Here’s hoping.

As for the rest of us, time to install a dash cam.