Mat Rempit still at it even amid pandemic

Keeping the peace: Police conducting roadbloacks in Ipoh city to check on illegal activities including for the Mat Rempit nuisance.

IPOH: The roar of the Mat Rempit is still loud even in these days of the recovery movement control order (MCO).

Some neighbourhoods know the sound of the machines all too well, while visitors to the city have had their sleep interrupted.

It is most irritating for those who are living near the meeting points of the Mat Rempit during the weekends.

On Saturdays, a group of about 20 motorcyclists would gather along a road leading to a residential area here, all ready to race, said Kanthan Baru KRT (Kawasan Rukun Tetangga) deputy secretary Jimmy Loh.

The race, he said, would usually occur between 11pm and 2am.

“Many residents have complained to the police.

“The cops would arrive within 10 minutes. But the motorcyclists would disappear the moment they see a police car,” he said.

Lim Garden Residents Association chairman S. Arunasalam said the Mat Rempit would rev their engines and race along Jalan Silibin during weekends.

The race, he said, would even go on till 3am.

“Residents living close to the main road are having sleepless nights,” he said.

A visitor from Kuala Lumpur who only wanted to be known as Raj, said he and his wife were awakened by the noise of loud motorcycle engines at about 3am.

The din lasted for about half an hour, said Raj, who stayed at a boutique hotel here last weekend.

“I looked down from a window and saw a group of people who looked like Mat Rempit sitting on their bikes.

“They were revving their bikes and stayed stationary before circling the area. Then they came back and revved their engines again,” he said.

He said his wife saw two vehicles that looked like patrol cars passing by then.

“I informed the hotel reception of the nuisance being caused by the Mat Rempit but the staff were not able to do anything,” he added.

While police here are increasing patrols during the recovery MCO to enforce adherence to the standard operation procedure, they are also keeping a close watch on the Mat Rempit menace.

When contacted, Ipoh OCPD Asst Comm A. Asmadi Abdul Aziz said there were teams designated to deal with the illegal racers.

Here in Ipoh, he said the police would conduct patrols every night, besides carrying out special operations.

“For instance, we conducted patrolling nearby a hotel in town on Saturday night after receiving information that the Mat Rempit and their motorcycles were disrupting the sleep of hotel guests.

“However, we could not locate them at the area or elsewhere. These Mat Rempit are like cockroaches. They disappear within seconds,” he said.

ACP Asmadi urged the people to take photos or videos of the scene, where possible.

They could also go to the nearest police station to lodge a report or use the Volunteer Smartphone Patrol application, he added.

“We will get them after that,” he said, noting that Ops Samseng Jalanan had led to 35 people between the ages of 15 and 36 being nabbed since January.

About 1,000 summons were also issued for various offences, he added.

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