Racing facilities will reduce Mat Rempit numbers, says Azalina

MYT 2:59:30 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: State governments must step in to provide special venues for motor racing to promote the sport among Malaysians and also to identify budding talents, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. 

She said that there were many complaints from the rakyat of the lack of affordable and adequate racing facilities in the country.  

Azalina hoped that there would be a boom of proper racing circuits in every state to help turn their hobbies into a passion for the motor racing arena.  

She added that there were many talented young Malaysians who had the potential to take motor racing to international standards, just like 14-year-old racing prodigy Jazeman Jaafar. 

She admitted that the Mat Rempit menace was still a huge problem, however she believed that their numbers would dwindle significantly given the appropriate and adequate racing facilities.  

"When we had the Batu Tiga racing track there were less of these Mat Rempit as it was considered more "manly" for them to race on the tracks rather than on the road, and it was also not that costly.  

"However, for each state to promote the motor racing a certain approach of safety education and racing knowledge must be ingrained before just jumping in and building racing tracks," she said. 

During a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here Thursday, she also challenged Mat Rempits to take their racing to the tracks.  

Earlier, the minister had opened the inaugural Asian International Motorcycle Expo 2007 here which saw more than 50 exhibitors taking part in the four-day event.  

Among the exhibitors are leading bike builders Kenji Nagai (2006 AMD All Japan Custom Bike Champion), Matt Hotch (Biker Build-off Champion), Russell Mitchell (Exile Motorcycles president) and Brett Smith (S&S custom engines president).

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