SHAH ALAM: Raja Nurul Jannat indulges in her hobbies of riding a motorcycle and participating in sports as a way of honouring the memory of her two brothers, who died several years ago.
The 30-year-old is her parents’ youngest child and only daughter. She’s currently studying at UiTM for a PhD in Sports Science.
Holding back tears as she spoke to FMT at a cafe in Shah Alam, she credited her late brothers’ influence for her interest in motorcycles and sports.
“My first memory of riding on a motorcycle was with my late brother, Raja Ahmad Safuan, who rode a Kawasaki ZZR,” she said. “And one of my fondest memories was playing sepak takraw with my other brother, Sheikh Muhammad Feisol.
“When I ride my motorcycle or when I’m playing sports, it makes me feel happy because I am reminded of the good times I had with them.”
Nurul said it was not easy to get a chance to ride pillion on her brother’s motorcycle because her mother disapproved.
“Mostly I’d ask Safuan to send me to school on his bike, but my mother didn’t like that. My father was more of the strong silent type and didn’t have much of an issue with it.”
Safuan died in a motorcycle accident in 2015 when he was 33 years old. Feisol died of a heart attack a year earlier, when he was 37.
“My brother had been complaining of chest pains but never got it checked out. Then, one day, we got a call from his wife. She told us he had suffered a heart attack. He didn’t make it.”
Nurul rides a modified Demak D7 and most enthusiasts would describe it as a beauty.
According to her, most people who see her on it would comment on the machine and say nothing about her.
“They see me ride and are impressed by my motorcycle. They wouldn’t say much other than ‘Wow,’ but they’re clearly impressed.”
She rides alone most of the time. “It’s hard to join rides with other motorcyclists because most of them are men,” she said. “I feel intimidated because they seem to know so much more about motorcycles than me.
“I would love it if more women were to ride motorcycles because then I wouldn’t feel so much like a minority.”
Nurul hopes to graduate this year.
She is active in her university’s softball team, which is currently competing against Universiti Malaya.