Monday, May 25, 2009

Allow RTD to join fight against 'Mat Rempit'

THE proposal by the Road Transport Department to seek more stringent measures to deal with Mat Rempit (or road thugs as they are now known) should be looked into. After all, the menace has put the police at their wits' end, with even the top cop now contemplating rehabilitative measures instead.

For too long, the silent majority have had to endure the danger posed by these road thugs who have not only been immortalised in movies but were also taken on a skydiving trip to the North Pole to let them know that they can be useful citizens.

Judging from the newspaper reports over the past few weeks, it would appear that we may have been taken for a ride all this time. Perhaps it's time for us to stop bending backwards to accommodate such unruly behaviour. Maybe we should let the RTD join the fight and deal with the menace once and for all.

The proposal to seize the motorcycles of the road thugs and reducing the vehicles to scrap could prove to be more economically sensible than issuing summonses, especially if the income generated could be channelled to good use.

The authorities might even want to take this a step further by working with other licencing authorities and nail the menace at source by reprimanding the motor workshops responsible for modifying normal motorcycles into the mean machines.

The suggestion to have the road thugs do community service could just be the rehabilitation measure Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan was looking for weeks ago.

Cleaning clogged drains and scraping dried chewing gums off pavements have a way of instilling humility in many people. Perhaps it could do the same for the thugs who continue to insist on their need for speed.

Repeat offenders can be given the cane, in addition to the shame campaign, so that they are sorely but surely reminded of their misdeed each time they sit on their motorcycles and contemplate mischief.

Of course, it will also do the authorities a lot of good to examine why, with all the high-tech cameras mounted around the city, the road thug and snatch thief menace continues unabated.

While police vigilance cannot be expected round-the-clock, computers can record what the cameras view 24/7 -- unless of course, "cataracts" in the form of dirt, dust and grime have covered up these lenses.

And don't forget to deal with the advertisements that promote motorcycles based on their vroom factor alone.

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