Laws won’t break the cycle

Safety hazard: A custom-made ‘basikal lajak’ complete with ‘exhaust system’ on sale at a bicycle shop at Sungai Ara in Bayan Lepas, Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: The “basikal lajak” issue stems from a lack of awareness and parental supervision, say bicycle shop owners, adding that imposing laws on them will only help to a certain extent.

A 40-year-old shop owner, who only wanted to be known as Lee, said many children in his area were caught racing with their friends on these bicycles and some of their parents had even been brought to court.

He said things would quieten down for a while, but a few months later the same children would be seen speeding down the hills again.

“I think the issue really stems from poor supervision by their parents,” he said.

Lee, whose shop is located in Sungai Ara, said he provided modification service but with limits, and all the bicycles he sold were equipped with proper parts and working brakes.

“When children come to my shop without their parents and request for modifications, I would refuse them if I think the modifications make their bicycles unsafe.

“This is where the problem arise as they would then bring their bicycles home and start modifying them on their own or with the help of their friends,” he said.

Lee added that some of the most popular modifications include removing the brakes, lowering the wheel plates and adjusting the seat positions.

“These modifications make the bicycle very light and close to the ground, allowing them to race downhill at high speed,” he said.

The police have called for new laws against shops or individuals providing modifications to transform bicycles into basikal lajak or mosquito bicycles.

Federal Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Deputy Comm Datuk Azisman Alias said the current laws were not tough enough to deal with the “mat lajak” (youngsters who race or perform stunts on modified bikes) issue.

Daniel Doey, 44, who sells bicycle parts in Terengganu Road, said the call for a new law to act against them was rather irrational.

“This is because most of the kids can still modify or build their own basikal lajak even if shops or individuals are no longer selling or modifying such bicycles.

“If customers buy parts and their kids decide to modify their bicycles using these parts, how are we to know?” he said.

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basikal lajak , transport , bicycle


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