There has been a lot of talk in the mainstream media of late about the “Mat Rempit” scourge. In recent times, the local media, especially the press, have been abounding with reports of crime and violence committed by Mat Rempits. There have been many reports of snatch thefts, assaults, murders, vandalism and drug related crimes, not to mention numerous fatal road accidents. With this barrage of media reporting, there is an air of anxiety and fear among the public and Malaysian society as a whole. This black cloud is further removed of any silver lining when police statistics indicated these rowdy acts are becoming more prominent amongst the youngsters and are on the rise. More often than not, these commentaries are preoccupied with demonising the Rempits rather than providing a long term solution. Stiffer penalties and jail time is all very well and good but it will not put an end to this serious social problem. Nevertheless, it would seem that everyone’s prayers have been answered. Just recently, the Malaysian Police have announced that no longer will these hooligans be called Mat Rempit, but now as Samseng Jalanan (Road Thugs) who face serious jail time if caught (as opposed to the usual practice of just fining them). To this end, the police seek to amend Section 42 of the Road Transport Act 1987 to make jail sentences mandatory.
2.0 Mat Rempit – definition
A Mat Rempit is a Malaysian term for an individual who participates in illegal street racing, usually involving modified motorcycles or scooters. Not all Mat Rempits are involved in street racing; some of them perform crazy stunts for fun, such as the wheelie, superman (lying flat on the seat) and scorpion (standing on the seat with one leg during a wheelie). They press the throttle as much as possible and try to create as much sound as possible. Mat Rempits usually travel in groups and race in bustling city centres on weekend nights. In some other countries, the term Mat Rempit is also...