Closed road races won’t give a high, says ex-mat rempit

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016

Rounded up: The aggressive crackdown by the police has reduced the number of mat rempit gangs.

MALACCA: A former member of a notorious mat rempit gang in Kuala Terengganu says closed roads will not give the illegal speedsters the same thrill.

Abdul Ramli Jusoh, 24, said the idea will not work and believes they will look for alternative routes to show off their stunts to motorists.

“As a former mat rempit, I know what gives them a high and sets their adrenaline pumping.

“They are attention-seekers and want people to see their performance.

“They won’t be keen to race without a crowd,” he said in an interview from his home in Kampung Bukit Guntong in Kuala Terengganu.

Abdul Ramli said he and many of his friends had given up the illegal activity after witnessing the deaths of three of their fellows in a horrific crash in November 2010.

The racers, aged between 16 and 20, were killed after their machines collided with each other on an uncompleted stretch of the East Coast Expressway in Kampung Bukit Guntong in Tepoh, Tereng­ganu.

“I still remember how they were performing stunts and lying flat on their machines while speeding at 100kph before tragedy struck,” he said.

The self-employed Abdul Ramli said mat rempit rev their machines on busy roads to challenge other motorcycle gangs.

“Weekend and other races were organised in this way during my time,” he said.

Abdul Ramli said that in 2010 when he was part of the “Owl Town Club” that organised illegal races on weekends and public holidays, the leader would ask a group of them to be on public roads to attract other gangs to race on the chosen circuit.

“Prizes, including cash, were offered to the winners.”

He said the motorcycle gangs then were secondary school boys who formed groups with interesting names like “Apache”, “Seven to One”, “Dracula” and “Benetton”.

“I heard that there are now fewer illegal races due to aggressive crackdowns by the police. Only one or two of these gangs are still around,” he said.

Nowadays, Abdul Rahim and his friends have gone into advocating against illegal races.

An 18-year-old mat rempit, who wanted to be identified only as Wan Karim, said the Alor Gajah-Malacca-Jasin highway and Ayer Keroh stretch close to the Malacca Historic City Council building were favourite spots for the illegal racers.

“We have to gather at these stretches and taunt the other gangs into racing us.

“If we don’t, there will be no race,” he said.

Wan Karim added that he preferred a circuit where there were spectators and that he was not excited by the idea of racing on closed roads.

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