JOHOR BARU – The Johor police will take immediate action to curb the Mat Rempit menace, following Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar’s remarks on illegal racing in the state.

The Johor Sultan said earlier today that Jalan Pantai Lido, opposite the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HAS), is being used as an illegal racing track.

Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd promised that police will take immediate action to clampdown on the menace.

“This time, they (Mat Rempits) have crossed the red line and we (police) will go down hard on them.

“Following the Sultan of Johor’s orders, we will take stern action in an effort to eradicate the illegal racing activities involving Mat Rempits along Jalan Pantai Lido especially near the Sultanah Aminah Hospital,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.

Mat Rempits, or illegal motorcycle racers, are a nationwide menace and is also considered a social ill in urban areas. They are usually seen riding modified kapchais (underbone motorcycles below the 150cc capacity) and ride recklessly endangering other motorists.

Mohd Khalil said police have been actively conducting roadblocks in several roads popular with illegal racers and Mat Rempits in the city centre here.

“Besides Jalan Pantai Lido, we have also identified other roads such as Jalan Pasir Pelangi that are frequented by Mat Rempits in the state capital.

“Despite police having an issue with sustainability due to manpower, we will do our best to enforce the law in an effort to curb this menace,” he said.

The state’s top cop said police had long-term plans to engage the Mat Rempits and identify the problems that lead them to race illegally on public roads.

However, he said that the situation was not feasible yet and police will take drastic action against the Mat Rempits for the time being.

In a related development, the federal government also said it may introduce an Anti-Social Behaviour Act to curb the on-going Mat Rempit and Mat Lajak menace in the country.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the Mat Rempit issue was a persistent one and a nuisance to the public.

“The proposed Anti-Social Behaviour Act should address the Mat Rempit as well as Mat Lajak (illegally modified bicycle racers) menace.

“The proposed law should cover prevention and empower the authorities to take action on the groups before they become a public nuisance,” he said at a parliament-level event in Bukit Indah here today.

Nur Jazlan, who is also the Pulai MP, said the current gazetted law only punishes the offenders and in this case it is the Mat Rempits, while the proposed law aims at prevention.

Earlier today, Sultan Ibrahim called for the police to act against Mat Rempits involved in illegal motorcycle races near the hospital.

In a posting on his official Facebook page, the state ruler described illegal racing as a meaningless activity, and a nuisance to patients, with the loud engine sounds during the night disrupting their sleep.

Sultan Ibrahim also said members of his family, including himself, had difficulty resting in the hospital from the noise.

Jalan Pantai Lido’s short three-kilometre stretch fronting the HSA to Danga Bay is a popular road with both car as well as motorcycle illegal racers, especially on weekends.

Their active hours are between 12am to 3am.

Despite constant police presence, the Mat Rempits on their modified kapchais are usually seen gathering on the road shoulders before they race among themselves or perform illegal stunts.

– Malay Mail