Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mat Rempit and Umno rempit

In this country, where the masses are passive and apathetic, where the media are cowed in investigating or challenging the powerful, where immigrant workers are treated like slaves, where the police can strip-search anyone, where rich old men grunt along on their Harley Davidsons on weekends - Mat Rempit, a group of uneducated, disposessed young men on small 100cc motobikes challenge our society's norms.

The usually apathetic masses shake their heads as they watch their favorite news bulletin showing the antics of these daredevils, running races at full speed, sometimes facing oncoming traffic, pulling stunts on their motorbikes. Nothing seems to faze them, much like the apathetic masses except that for these Mat Rempits, each time they compete, it could be their last race.

Death or Glory.

It's not so much the purported prized bohsia that they can have should they win, but the risk of death that injects the adrenaline at a speed that no rich old men on a Harley Davidson will ever get to experience, not even close!

Such a feeling of reckless abandonment is only possible when one does not have much to lose. When life is cheap. The Mat Rempit phenomenon here is similar to many similarly alienated youth from poor backgrounds throughout the world. When opportunity and the riches of the world passes them by, many find the only way of expressing themselves and their pain is through anti-social behaviour of various types.

In the destitute and hopelessness of a Palestinian refugee camp, the only way out may be suicide bombing, in Papua New Guineas where there are 10 times more youth getting out of schools each year than there are jobs, many young people graduate from school straight into a life of crime as raskols, and in France children of poor migrants, mostly black African Muslims, rioted, burning cars and looting shops after years of life drifting in dehumanising conditions.

There are conflicting reports of the numbers of Mat Rempit. Some say there are as many as 50,000; some say more. In truth, there are way too many young Malaysians who live in despair in the squalor of dilapidated low cost housing, with nothing much - and hence nothing much to lose. Mat Rempit or not.

There are two ways to deal with what is undoubtedly anti-social behaviour that is dangerous not only to themselves but to innocent motorists. The most obvious way, the knee-jerk reaction, is to condemn the behaviour and seek to repress it, without looking to find out what may be causing it. In other words, treat the symptom, not the disease. This is made worse if coloured by ideology.

Putra UMNO courts Mat Rempit participants obviously as a good supply of cheap voters - after all the qualities of bravados and anak jantaness suit the cause. Other quarters seem to think the answer is religion. Or could the answer be as simple as building a cheap racing circuit?

Alas, all of these efforts, well-meaning though they may be, ignore the root causes of anti-social behaviour (whatever its form) in young people. All over the world, it has been conclusively demonstrated that you can't eliminate the symptoms without treating its causes.

So what really lies behind Mat Rempit? What sort of nurture and nature produces a generation of young men who think that they have nothing to lose and that each race may be their last? That death and disability are risks worth taking?

What makes our young generations having the psyche of disposessed refugee children, the raskols of New Guinea and the poor migrants of France? For many non-UMNOPutra young Malaysians, life is not much different from the refugee camps and Parisian ghettos.

Many of these young people are jobless. They lack trade skills; they lack life skills; they lack dignity and self-worth. In a bleak world where everything seems to be in the control of some UMNOputra and his friends, where compassion is near non-existent, the complete social isolation that comes with poverty makes their world very similar to that of refugees.

Crowded low cost houses, with ten siblings or more, mums and dads trying to make ends meet, they'd be lucky to sleep on a mattress, let alone a bed. It would be good fortune indeed to get some food in the rumbling tummy. Most low cost housing developments have no playing fields, playgrounds or trees to shade from the sun. Simple pleasures like fresh air are gone - pollution is the only thing that they and we know. The boredom of having the time but absolutely no opportunity due to poverty is much like living in captivity.

In many ways, Mat Rempit is an articulation of breaking out from living in that captivity - the captivity and trappings of neglected life in Malaysia. It is our young giving the finger to the life created by corrupt values, where the rich get richer and the poor get nothing. When there is little social justice, how can we expect anything from these young people?

They are saying we don't give a damn - the ADUNs can have their RM5 milliion mansion in the ghettos of low cost housing, the air can be thick with pollution, the climate of impunity on corrupt politicians and their cronies can stay, lock up as many people under ISA as you wish - we don't give a damn.

So they say farewell, in a fatalistic way, racing each race like their last - for isn't everyone meant to die?

The lack of social justice is the core of the Mat Rempit issue. The massive gap between the haves and have-nots, the lack of services and the non-delivery of vital services for the poor. Poverty encourages de-individualisation, depersonalisation, disorientation, and despair - and the lack of a safety net in Malaysia means that the poor live in hopelessness. There is no balance of power between the authority and the individual. The authority can do no wrong and the poor live in neglect.

Why can't the Government ensure that all developments, no matter how low cost, include plenty of open spaces, perhaps with two goal posts so that children can kick a ball, some trees, facilities for children and youth like playgrounds, skateboard ramps, sports fields, youth centre, library, an oasis for the mind?

Is it really too much to ask for planned facilities for our young (rather than knee jerk reaction by building one low cost racing circuit) to develop their growing muscles and expanding mind and a place to get the pent up energy out of their raging hormones? If there are no facilities, our young will find some other outlet - like riding their motorbikes. But if there is no hope that your life can ever improve, you will ride that motorbike recklessly, without regard to life or limb.

Nenek Kebayan


Kitaro Minami said...

YB Dato, selamat hari raya.

Saya agak bimbang dengan prestasi wakil rakyat PAS di beberapa DUN yang amat mendukacitakan.

Di Pasir Mas sebagai contoh, Ahli Parlimen tidak melakukan sebarang tindakan efektif samada ketika Ramadhan mahupun sewaktu menjelang Eid.

Masyarakat kampung saya di Lubok Jong, walaupun mereka benci dan tidak akan menyokong UMNO, tetapi mereka amat kecewa dengan wakil rakyat PAS.

I need not an explanation coz i know u might not have an ample time to reply. But if u do, i really appreciate it.

However, upon everything is talk dan walk.

YB Dato' amat dialukan menziarahi blog ana.

Anonymous said...

A very passionate article by nenek kebayan. Congratulations. Lets hope many ADUNs read this.

Abu Abdillah said...


Sdr Husam,

Fenomina Mat Rempit satu manifestasi taraf tekanan (stress) yang sedang melanda manusia 'moden'.

Allah menciptakan manusia sentiasa berada dalam susah payah ( Al Balad 90:4).

Dan ALlah memberi dua jalan untuk menagani kesusahan ini: satu jalan membawa kebaikan dan satu jalan membawa kepada kemusnahan.

Pendidikan hari ini di seluruh dunia, formal dan tidak formal, gagal mendidik manusia untuk menagani tekanan hidup ini dengan betul.

Satu dari pada cara manusia 'moden' mengatasi kesan tekanan hidup ialah dengan melakukan tindakan ganas, membunuh, berlumba haram/Mat Repit, menagih dadah untuk menutup fikiran kepada kesempitan hidup dll.

Tindakan seperti ini memberi rasa lega buat sementara. Selagi punca kepada tekakan, stress, ksempitan hidup tidak dihapus tindakan-tindakan ganas dll akan berterusan.

Cara mengatasinya? Ikutilah petunjuk ALlah :

"Dan janganlah kamu jadi seperti orang-orang yang lupa kepada Allah, lalu Allah menjadikan mereka lupa kepada diri mereka sendiri. Mereka itulah orang-orang fasik." (Al Hasyr 59:19)

Ibn Qayum menjelaskan bahawa bila manusia jadi begini, dia akan jadi lebih teruk daripada haiwan.

Haiwan sentiasa mendapat petunjuk dari ALlah. Manusia fasik tidak mendapat petunjuk dari ALlah. Dia fikir apa yang dia lakukan baik untuk dirinya, sedangkan perbuatan itu menjahanamkan dirinya.


Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum YB Dato'

Ana bersetuju dengan pandangan kitaro minami.. apa yang apa perhatikan sesetengah tempah YB PAS tidak mengambil peluang / kesempatan Ramadhan dan Syawal untuk meraikan pengundi2 di kawasan2 masing2.

Malah jika dihalusi dan diperhatikan di kawasan2 strategik tidak ada satu pun kain rentang ucapan Eid Mubarak drp wakil2 rakyat PAS. Adakah kita terlalu complacent dengan keadaan sekarang. Antara kawasan yang ana perhatikan kurangnya papan tanda ini adalah Pasir Mas (both Parlimen dan ADUN), Kubang Kerian (ADUN), Pengkalan Chepa (Parlimen) - sekadar beberapa contoh tempat yang ana lalu sepanjang musim raya.

Ana memuji YB Dato' di atas kesungguhan dan iklan besar bilamana masuk ke kawasan YB Dato'. Sekurang2nya ana rasa diraikan dengan ucapan sedemikian dan melihat yang YB Dato' prihatin dengan suasana semasa.

Semoga teguran ini akan diberikan perhatian sewajarnya oleh PAS Kelantan. Jangan terlalu complacent, dengan terlalu hilang percaturan, yang remeh harus ditanggani sewajarnya agar rakyat yakin dengan kemampuan kita.

Anonymous said...

Selamat Menyambut Eid Al-Mubarak kepada semua.Semoga kita semua kembali kepada fitrah.

Cabaran kepada umum untuk mengatasi gejala rempit, rasuah, kronisme dll sifat mazmumah bukan sahaja terletak ke atas pemimpin tetapi juga kepada diri kita sendiri. Jangan salahkan orang lain kalau kita gagal mendidik anak2 kita menjadi insan yang bertaqwa serta berguna.

Jangan salahkan guru / tenaga pengajar kalau anak2 kita gagal dalam pelajaran. Jangan salahkan pemimpin kalau pemimpin itu gagal menggunakan akal fikiran. Siapa yang memangkah tatkala pilihanraya? Kita sendiri yang patut menyedarkan umum akan tanggungjawab yang perlu dipikul bersama.

Baik daripada mana-mana platform parti, kita kena berusaha bersama-sama dalam mendidik keluarga dan masyarakat untuk ke arah yang lebih baik dan mulia.

Kepada ahli2 UMNO yang membaca, renung2kanlah apa tindakan pimpinan anda telah dan sedang lakukan untuk negara tercinta. Persoalan umat Islam masih gagal dalam berpolitik dan berekonomi sepatutnya menjadi tajuk agenda utama dalam perbincangan. Sedangkan sudah berpuluh2 tahun memerintah, masih gagal dalam membangunkan generasi Melayu yang mampan.

Kepada ahli2 PAS, jangan pula syok sendiri. Bangkit dan bangunkan pimpinan yang masih dibuai lena. Jangan nanti salahkan pengudi Hantu kerana kalah dalam pilihanraya. Kenapa perlu tunggu 4-5tahun sekali baru nak tunjukkan muka dan meraih simpati pengudi atas pagar? Kerja kerana Allah SWT kenalah bersungguh2, baru boleh memerintah negara.

Semoga Allah SWT membantu kita semua dalam menangani apa jua cabaran yang mendatang. InsyaAllah.

Akhukum fil Islam

Anonymous said...

Saudara Abu Abdillah, Assalamualaikum.

Terima kasih kerana mengambil masa untuk menulis komen artikel saya. Perlu saya jelaskan stress bukanlah fenomena manusia moden sahaja- manusia zaman pre-modern juga menghadapi stress - sebagai contoh: terpaksa lari dan sembunyi diri bila dikejar singa dan binatang lain- adrenalin adalah sejenis kimia yang menolong kita untuk menyelamatkan diri- bila tak fit pun boleh lari sebab nyawa dah terancam. Dari zaman hunters dan gatherers lagi, manusia amat kompleks dan punyai banyak keperluan- ugama penting untuk asas mental and spiritual, keperluan fisikal dan minda juga penting. Manusia zaman hunters dan gatherers dapat keperluan fisikal dengan berjalan mencari makanan sepanjang hari. Berapa ramai manusia moden yang berjalan ( ie exercise) atau mampu pergi gym? Dengan itu pembangunan samada low cost atau tidak harus mengambil kira aspek keperluan fisikal, spiritual, mental. Kita perlu mental challenge, minda juga perlu riadah, privacy dan space. Kalau hidup macam merpati, bersesak sesak dalam square masing masing- merpati ada sayap- kalau stress boleh terbang, manusia macam macamlah jadinya.

Anonymous said...


Terima kasih kepada anonymous pertama. Social justice is my passion.

Buat anonymous kedua, terima kasih - komen tuan/puan amat bernas.

Izinkan saya menambah, in all humility Konsep "ownership" of problems ie jangan salahkan orang lain bila kita ada masalah, pada saya amat baik. Dari segi psychology, itu tanda kita menerima hakikat yang kita boleh menangani masaalah ynag kita hadapi. By the same token, kerajaan yang dilantik rakyat juga harus accountable. Hakikatnya, saya dan puan/tuan membayar tax, wang tax saya/tuan/puan digunakan oleh kerajaan untuk melantik pentadbir pentabdir yang saya harap di lantik atas merit dan kebolehannya mentadbir (ie bukan kerana kawan/kroni or political leaning). Dengan itu diharapkan pentadbir-pentadbir yang qualified ini akan menggunakan kaedah2 perancangan bandar yang seimbang. Samada low cost atau tidak haruslah menitik beratkan pembangunan masyarakat- bukan sekadar membina rumah tetapi mengambil kira keperluan2 pembangunan psychology, emotional, spiritual, mental, minda, fisikal. Isu Mat Rempit pada saya timbul kerana Kerajaan yang di lantik gagal menangani isu social justice. Saya tak bisa menyalahkan mak bapak Mat Rempit 100% kerana kerajaan gagal dalam perancangan bandar.What hope have they got to make a difference when they exist dalam kais pagi makan pagi? An accountable government will have to look at the core of the issue, not finger point what is already an alienated section of society.


Anonymous said...

A'kum Dato

Thank a lot for a stimulating writing about Mat Rempit. I couldn't help by agree with many points highlighted in the writing.

Actually Mat Rempit or whatever name you call it, is product of political system, education system, economic philosophy etc that we (our government) exercise. This problem is compounded with lack of religious teaching in all the above-mentioned systems and philosophies.

For most Islamic countries Malaysia is not spared, we see West as a panacea of our material backwardness and by and large we tend to follow our Western counterpart to succeed. Look at our education system, look at our economy, our politics, you name it, all have been adopted from Western philosophy where many of them contradict with our Islamic teaching but we have accepted them in the name of development.

We (read our government) blindly emulate West (although we deny that) and at the same time try to do it our way. This is the problem when our ways sometimes have been used by those in power and those who control wealth to maintain their supremacy and other who not so lucky still grapple with various problems, to earn a decent living which is not easy for the majority.

Since those in power and their capitalist friends only thinking how to create wealth, anything don't create wealth will be left behind. Look at our football field, public playground, park etc have been hijacked by developers to develop condominium, housing estates. And for state government (most control by UMNOputra) are happy to give them to their capitalist friends, as both financially beniffted at the expense of public at large. So public left with nothing. To play football, teenagers who stay in flat areas, housing estates, and outskirt of town don't have enough football field, if they want to play in door games they need to pay, and at the same time other activities which no contribute to social ills flourishing. To add insult to the injury many Mat Rempit are those left behind in many aspects couldn't help but to turn to heroic act, and for them their lives is nothing except for cheap game. They don't want to challenge the authority but they do it as for fun. At the same time they got many other teenagers who watch their act this directly or indirectly give moral support for them.

As for those in power they don't care much. Although they pretended in front of television, we know just to show they concerned, but not holistic action taken. All the blames go to Mat Rempit, but none on them. Their sons and daughters will not involve in Mat Rempit, but not to say they are in many ways better than Mat Rempit. Alcholism, gambling, free mingling between male and female are in the list. All these things now become part and parcel of our teenagers life. This undoubtedly product of our secular government. At the end of the day, those who vote for secular leaders (albeit self-proclaimed these are Islamic) will be blamed.

Mat Kelate

Abu Abdillah said...


Nenek Kebayang,
True, hardship is man fitrah. ALlah says:

"Verily, We created man in toil." (Al Balad 90:4)

Hardship/toil creates stress. And stress is the underlying cause of mental illness which is the number epidermic in the modern world now.

Allah actually warns man about this during Adam's creation in heaven thus:

"And We said: ' Get down all of you from this place (the Paradise), then whenever there comes to you Guidance from Me, and whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.' (Al Baqarah 2:38)

The fact that mental illness, especially anxiety/fear and grieve/depression is now number one epidermic in the world shows how man has disobeyed Allah's guidance.

Yes stress induces secretion of adrenalin, which drives man to action, in the body. But, the question is: what type of action is man going to take?

Muslims who have high taqwa will direct their actions towards doing good and avoiding and preventing evil (enjoin Al-Ma'ruf and forbid Al-Mungkar: Al Imran 3:110).

People who disobey Allah's guidance or are ignorant of them, including Mat Rempit and UMNO rempit, will behave thus because they adopt maladaptive coping strategies:

1. Use of alcohol or unprescribed drugs( writer: Dadah) to reduce the emotional response or to reduce awareness of stressful circumtances.

2. Deliberate self-harm either by drug overdose or self-injury. Sometimes the skin is cut with a sharp instrument to induce pain and draw blood as a way of reducing tension. (Mat Rempit does illegal racing to achieve the same: writer)

3. Aggressive behaviour: overt aggression may release pent-up feelings of anger and provide immediate release. (E.g: Random shooting of teachers and students in USA schools: writer) In the longer term, however, it damages relationships and increases the person's difficulties.
(Michael Gerder et al: Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry 3rd edition 1998 "Reactions to stressful experiences (and minor affectives disoders)" page:135

Allah has warned:
"But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its teachings) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection"
(Ta-Ha 20:124)

Man, including Muslims and Malays like Mat Rempit and UMNO rempit, are reaping the 'rewards' of not following ALlah's guidance.

Wallah hua'lam

Anonymous said...

saya sedih dengan isu mat rempit yang membabitkan jiwa-jiwa islam. Inilah kesudahannya apabila duduk terlalu lama di bawah kepimpinan yang tidak menitikberatkan ajaran islam. maka berlakulah perlanggaran terhadap undang-undang, manusia atau syarie. kita perhatikan masyarakat kita tidak lagi berpegang kepada rule of law. contoh Datuk Zak - langsung tidak hormat kpd rule of law, jadi kalau pemimpin dah macam itu, macam pepatah lagi cikgu kencing berdiri, anak murid kencing berlari... kalau peringkat tertinggi negara dah rasuh dan koruosi menjadi2, apatah yang ada pd mat-mat rempit, remput ajelah..peduli apa pada undang-undang. tidak nak ceramah ini.

Anonymous said...

kitaro minami --- cuba jangan main politik la sini.

Kitaro Minami said...

Sdr. Adun,

Salahkah komen saya? Bukankah saya punyai hak kebebasan bersuara sepertimana yang dijamin oleh Perkara 10 Perlembagaan PErsekutuan?

Malah setahu saya, YB Husam juga menggalakkan kebebasan bersuara.

Salahkah jika saya mengkritik? Berat sangatkah jika mana-mana adun untuk respon? Atau anda terasa?

Siapa makan cili, dialah rasa pedasnya.