Ministry mulls anti-social behaviour laws to curb Mat Rempit menace

jazlan-rempitJOHOR BAHRU: The home ministry has proposed to the government to introduce laws to curb anti-social behaviour, especially the “Mat Rempit” (illegal street racers) menace.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said police would have the authority to detain or take action against those causing distress or nuisance to the public with the existence of such laws, also known as the Anti-Social Behaviour Act in many developed countries.

“The laws on anti-social behaviour is not a curfew order. (In fact,) the police have carried out their responsibilities very well. However, police will have more powers to take action against Mat Rempit groups with the introduction of the new laws.

“At the moment, action can only be taken when a Mat Rempit has committed an offence.

“With the new laws, the police can take action to dismiss these groups and arrest those who are still stubborn,” he told reporters after attending the Pulai parliamentary constituency polling day simulation at Taman Bukit Indah here today.

Nur Jazlan, who is also Pulai MP, was commenting on the statement by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar on his anger with a group of Mat Rempit for turning the stretch of Jalan Pantai Lido in front of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) into an illegal racing venue.

He said the proposal, which was still at discussion level, came into the picture following an accident that claimed the lives of eight teenagers last year.

“The Mat Rempit groups also involve minors, whereby police do not have the authority to arrest them. With the anti-social behaviour laws, the police can take action against parents who allow their children to get involved in such activities,” said Nur Jazlan.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the Sultan of Johor said he received numerous complaints, particularly from HSA patients about sleepless nights due to the noise coming from the motorcycle engines when Mat Rempit groups raced late at night.

Sultan Ibrahim also urged the police to take stern action against the illegal racers.

Meanwhile, Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said police would go all out to crack down on the groups and their rampant illegal racing activities.

“The Mat Rempit menace is not only happening in Johor but also in other states… Now, they have turned ‘sensitive’ areas like hospitals and schools into racing venues, and they don’t have any respect (for the people).

“They should understand and be aware of these places. They have crossed the line and we (police) will not compromise at all,” he said when contacted by Bernama.