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When the Mat Rempit thunder down the streets in their modified motorcycles, most Malaysians hope that the authorities would do something.
The Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department has now rannounced that it would be working with the Road Transport Department rand the Department of Environment to crack down on modified motorcycle rexhausts.
A large number of motorcyclists have protested the move, with some arguing that the operation is ill-timed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, since people are struggling to make ends meet.
JD Lovrenciar, an avid biker and concerned citizen, reached out to Malaysiakini on the matter with a simple question - how loud is too loud?
The announcement of the crackdown created a wave of confusion as bikers “from the kapchai (underbone motorcycle) up to the touring bikes” were not sure of where the threshold for a “noisy exhaust” stood.
The Road Transport Act 1987 states that “any individual modifying the exhaust is committing an offence and can be fined RM2,000 or six months jail”, but there is no specific limit mentioned.
“Are we here to educate, create awareness and compliance or are we here to punish severely?” asked Lovrenciar who questioned the rationale behind the crackdown.
He believes this can be easily resolved if there is an avenue to get bikes certified and tested to check if they are within legal limits.
Lovrenciar also stressed that if the government is serious about this issue, access to such modifications should be revoked as well.
“If it is wrong to sell these parts, it is wrong to allow the importation of these parts too. If it is wrong to import these parts, then why are you collecting duty on them?” he asked.
Lovrenciar hopes that the government will pay better attention to the biker community.
He pointed out that a large number of Malaysians use motorcycles for commuting and also as a means for making a living.
Malaysians even hailed bike riders as heroes when the movement control order (MCO) came into effect since they helped deliver food to millions at home.
For as long as Malaysians need to get from point A to point B, there will always be motorcyclists sharing the roads with us.
It is only fair that their concerns are given the attention needed.