Retread defenders are so wrong, says activist

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PETALING JAYA: Statements made in defence of the Malaysian tire retreading industry often ignore local realities, according to activist biker Azlan Sani Zawawi.

Azlan, who heads the Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood, said the people making such statements tended to base their reasoning on research made by foreign tire retreading companies and on ideal scenarios.

“Illegal tire retreading manufacturers in Malaysia do not follow the strict regulations and standards used in those foreign countries,” he told FMT.

“I’m sure these individuals who defend the local industry are aware of how many cases there are of exploded retreaded tires which have been left scattered on the roads and how dangerous this is to road users.

“PLUS itself has admitted that most of the dangerous objects found on the highways are the remnants of retreaded tires.”

He claimed that a Road Transport Department official had informed him of workshops that rented out good tires to enable vehicles to pass Puspakom inspections.

“Transport companies use these safe tires for the routine 6-month inspections,” he said. “After passing the inspection, they return these tires to the workshops and use their old retreaded tires.”

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On Thursday, Azlan and other representatives of Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood met with officials at the Malaysian Rubber Board to hand them two retreaded tires wrapped in ribbons as a sign of protest against a statement made by the board’s Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation, Zairossani Mohd Nor.

Zairossani said in a press interview early this month that retreaded tires were safe if they were filled with air at the correct pressure and if users obeyed speed limits.

Azlan said he had hoped to finally meet Zairossani in person but was instead met by a representative.

“I asked the representative to tell Zairossani that I still want to meet with him in person because I don’t deal with middlemen,” he said. “I want Zairossani to retract his statement on the safety of retreads unless he can defend it.

“The Brotherhood also wants to know what enforcement steps will be taken by the Malaysian Rubber Board’s new business venture, Green Rubber.”

He said the representative promised that she would arrange a meeting between him and Zairossani as soon as possible.

“We will continue to have campaigns to raise awareness among all road users on the dangers of using retreaded tires until we are satisfied with the the authorities’ enforcement of regulations and standards,” Azlan said.

Azlan, who goes by the nickname Lando, is an actor who is known for his roles in films such as “Bohsia: Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam” and “Janji Diana”.