AFTER years of playing remote-controlled cars on no-man’s land, members of the Penang Remote-Controlled Car Club now have a home they can call their own.
Complete with a racetrack and a grandstand, the members now have their own turf at a 1,500sq m river reserve land along Sungai Kluang near the Bayan Baru fire station.
The land was granted by the Drainage and Irrigation Department on condition that should the land be required by the department, the club will have to make way.
“We are grateful to the department for granting us use of the land,” said club vice-president Mohd Khairel Mohd Khalid said.
The club members built their track with more than 40 lorry-loads of high quality soil.
The racetrack features hills and obstacles — everything to give their little cars a run for the money.
Mohd Khairel said the club had also been having fellow aficionados from Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore to come over and race with them.
But do not mistake the hobby as child’s play.
These remote-controlled, nitro-powered buggies — in 1/8th scale of real cars —- travel at 80km/h to 100km/h.
“On a straight road, we can rev them up to 120km/h,” said Mohd Khairel.
An entry-level buggy will cost RM1,500 while pro-kits range from RM5,000 to RM6,000.
Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, who connected the club to the department, said the 30-odd club members were “lucky boys”.
“Many children have played remote-controlled cars at some point in their childhood.
“The club members are blessed to carry on the joy into adulthood,” he said.
Sim, who had spent time in California as a highway engineer, said he had designed cycling lanes on river reserves there.
“Rivers will eventually need to be widened, but this may not be necessary for many years. Until then, it can be used to benefit communities,” he explained.
He said unused river reserves must be for community purposes such as sports and recreation.
Other possible uses of river reserve land include building jogging trails and children’s playgrounds, he added.