Academician: Prioritise safety for motor convoys, ahead of state polls

10th Forum on Crime and Policing in Malaysia

Motorcycle convoys have become a norm during the campaigning period of elections in Malaysia.

Young motorcyclists, mostly riding underbone machines in large groups, would rev their two wheels to create attention while carrying flags of political parties.

We could witness similar scenes ahead of the state polls in Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu.

The actions of several daredevils on the roads have tainted the image of motorcyclists as they embark on dangerous stunts and are confrontational when involved in accidents.

“My advice to those organising these convoys is please work closely with the authorities. Safety is important,” said Professor Datuk Dr Omar Osman, vice-chancellor and chief executive director of the DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia.

“Get them (the riders) to adhere to road safety and to respect other road users. It’s best to present an acceptable culture.”

He added that educating the riders was the responsibility of everyone.

“There’s nothing wrong with riding motorcycles, but ride it well,” he said.

Omar was met after the 10th Forum on Crime and Policing in Malaysia at Jen Penang Georgetown Hotel this morning.

Earlier, he joined Malaysian Bar president Karen Cheah, Global Commission on Drug Policy commissioner Professor Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, and ACP Dr S. Parusuraman representing the Inspector General of Police, for a panel session as they discussed the theme of the forum – crime is colour blind. Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy was the moderator.

Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak delivered the keynote address.

During the session, Omar said the mat rempit menace was not a colour-blind issue as it involved a majority of Malays, with most of them having SPM as their highest educational qualification.

Politicians, however, have jumped on the bandwagon to embrace Mat Rempit, creating a cult-like culture to win votes. Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had allocated RM20 million to build drag strips for them.

However, that did not happen following the change in government after the 15th General Election last November.

“It’s not about building drag strips. It’s about training them to be good riders. We can encourage them to do more formal sports (motorsports racing). That is an economic activity and part of an industry,” Omar added.

The forum was organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS), the Penang government, Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (Penang) and the Penang State Contingent Police.

Event sponsors included Magnum Corporation, Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd, STM Lottery Sdn Bhd, Pinang Peranakan Mansion and ASPEN Vision Development Sdn Bhd.

Twentytwo13 was the official media partner.