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Call on Prime Minister to give personal attention to wipe out the Mat Rempit menace subverting law and order, creating fear among Malaysians and visitors about their personal safety and giving the country a bad name internationally

Media Conference          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Wednesday): The Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance has received a complaint from the latest victim of Mat Rempits Manjit Sokhai, 43, a Canadian consultant from Montreal who comes to Malaysia three to four times a year in connection with his work.

Manjit was driving his four-wheel drive along Jalan Rasah, Seremban at about 11pm on Saturday Oct 20, with three friends from India when he was confronted by some 40 Mat Rempits on motorcycles, who assaulted him and went on to damage his vehicle, smashing the rear lights, wipers and number plate.

Manjit is here and he will give you his traumatic encounter with the Mat Rempits.

Mat Rempits going on a rampage, causing harm to innocent people and property, has become too common an occurrence.

These were some of the reports in the mass media in the past two months on Mat Rempit rampage and violence in the country:

1. Merdeka celebrations took a nasty turn at Dataran Hadhari, Teluk Batik, Perak early 1st September 2007 when some Mat Rempits reacted violently against the police by wrecking one patrol car and breaking the rear window of another. This happened at 1.30am when a police inspector tried to detain a man, sparking angry protests from more than 100 Mat Rempits, who surrounded the police car, kicked its doors and ripped off the radio antenna. The police officer escaped unharmed.

2. A senior citizen, Yusoff Abdullah, 69, was knocked and killed by a Mat Rempit in Pasir Tumboh, Kota Bharu early morning on 8th September. The Mat Rempit who hit Yusoff, Ahmad Fuad Ariffin, 19 also died on the spot.

3. Two Mat Rempits who were not happy with police having a road block attacked Merbok Police Station in Sungai Petani with petrol bombs at about 1am, 27th August 2007. Nobody was injured.

4. A group of ten Mat Rempits turned violent and attacked a police car and a few policemen in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur, a Mat Rempit favorite spot early on the night of 30th September 2007. When they were blocked by the traffic police, they turned violent and attacked the police before leaving.

5. Mohd Fairus Abdul Aziz, 21, a restaurant worker was killed after he fell from his motorcycle in Jalan Tun Razak near the US Embassy where he was surrounded and kicked by five Mat Rempits at about 5:40 am on 11th October 2007. Fairus was about to send her girl friend home after work when he was surrounded by the Mat Rempits who wanted to take her girl friend away.

6. Wan Asmadi Wan Ahmad, 36, a senior officer from Road Transport Department Enforcement Unit was hit by a Mat Rempit in an Ops Sikap XIII operation in Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Ipoh at about 10:15 pm on 21st October 2007. His legs were broken and he suffered serious head injuries.

These are some of the reported cases, which are only the tip of the iceberg of the fear they created among the peace-loving and law-abiding Malaysians, as well as visitors with their lawlessness and contempt for the rights and safety of others.

It is deplorable that the Mat Rempit menace has been allowed to continue without a political will to resolve it, further aggravated by the patronage which some influential personalities in power have accorded to Mat Rempits for their own political agenda.

The culture of contempt for the law and impunity for the lawlessness of Mat Rempits have gone on for too long and the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is also Internal Security Minister, to give his personal attention to wipe out the Mat Rempit menace subverting law and order, creating fear among Malaysians and visitors about their personal safety and giving the country a bad name internationally.

The Prime Minister must be reminded that a national situation where Mat Rempit lawlessness and violence are rife and rampant is not only a threat to the safety and security of Malaysian citizens, but would drive away investors, tourists and foreign students.

How can the government expect to succeed in making Malaysia an investment centre, a tourist haven or an international hub of academic excellence to attract foreign students when the government is incapable performing its most fundamental duty to ensure the personal safety and security of its citizens and visitors?


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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