Stop glorifying Mat Rempits!

Stop glorifying Mat Rempits!
Azly Rahman

The (North Pole Free Fall) expedition is among the latest controversial moves by Umno to engage youths, especially mat rempit, in a series of baffling activities… . This includes a 50,000-strong carnival gathering which never took off, a road trip tainted by sex and booze allegations and a proposed programme to reward mat rempit for nabbing snatch thieves

— Malaysiakini newsreport March 10, 2007

Again and again we are sending a wrong message to the children of tomorrow concerning what good behavior for our youth should be. Wrong model.

Why are we allowing UMNO Putera to glorify Mat Rempits and reward them with something they do not deserve? Don’t these youth leaders know what education means and how to educate these ‘damaged’ youth? We do not understand what being “fair but firm” means in educating troubled youth. Worse, we do not understand the root cause of why children fail in school but graduate to become Mat and Minah Rempits or “Alongs” and all kinds of human beings alienated by the system we built together.

The 50,000 strong gathering, the name-change to Mat Cemerlang, the proposed drag race circuit, and now the North Pole jump — what are these for in the name of ‘education for good citizenship’? How many will 50,000 mat rempits multiply into in a decade? What will be the consequence for our nation already falling apart from corruption and mismanagement?

We need more than just quick fix solution to the issue of ‘juvenile delinquency’ that is getting out of control. We need a “zero-tolerance policy” on “rempitizing behaviors”.

Don’t the ministry of education know what the taxpayers want for the education system? Why not spend money preparing good teachers to prepare good curriculum and teaching strategies to deal with the children of the Millennium generation? Why not spend money making sure that all schools meet the minimum standards of technology, resources, safety, and teacher competency? Why not beef up the “rempit division” of the police force?

Why continue to arrogantly trumpet pseudo-humanistic approach to curing the disease of rempitism when there are better long-lasting ways we can employ to make sure students do not become what they shouldn’t be becoming?

The wrong model

Mat Rempit wannabes will think that even if they do not do well in school and not be disruptive, they will still grow up protected by the system created by those who want to continue to preach the “welfare mentality”. There will be youth political parties trying hard enough to negotiate with the “motorcycle gang” so that the latter can be of help in maintaining the hegemony of the ruling party. The compromising approach towards those who “terrorize” neighborhoods, law-abiding citizens, or even rob and maim others will give more and more power to many others to follow the footsteps of the motorcycled mob. “I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse” said Don Vito Corleone of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather fame — would be the best way to describe the philosophy of how we reward these troubled youth.

A wrong model of youth education will produce more youth who will see national development through wrong lens.

Perhaps our minister of education need to spend one class period a month in different classroom settings, as an undercover substitute teacher, to understand the culture of the classroom and to make sense of why many things are failing.

Perhaps top ranking officials of the ministry without classroom experience need to take turns doing this undercover job to see why we are not producing the graduates we want. Perhaps these officials can be given a class period to teach in the urban schools and where Mat and Minah Rempits reign — schools in Puchong for example. Or they can sit in classroom in Arau Perlis where broken door, blackboard, windowpanes, ceilings ands walls welcome new students daily.

These are the real stuff of teaching — ones that ministers do not see. Many are merely interested in ‘officiating’ smart schools and have photo sessions with Microsoft’s Bill Gates or Netscape’s Scott McNealy in Dengkil — schools that will produce no Mat and Minah Rempits. Many do not even want their children near National Service camps that has taken the lives of 19 of our precious youth to date! We now have a movement towards the three school system — public, private, and international — each catering to the degree of fear parents have towards their children’s education.

This is the lifeboat mentality we have cultivated as a nation.

But education is about hope and love. It is about modeling best practice. Where do we begin then?

The right model

First, we need to stop sending the wrong message. We need to reward those who are doing well academically regardless of race, and help channel their creativity through the spectrum of their educational experience.

We need to create classrooms with smaller sizes so that the needs of these children can be met according to their interest. The “small schools” movement that identify children’s career interest at an early age can be a good model to work from — schools modeled after the concept of “academies”. Let experts from the MRSM (Maktab Rendah Sains MARA) system for example help suggest good ideas on how to help our troubled youth. Next, get funding to create alternative schools for troubled youth, that would also include a course in ‘motorcycle education’.

We need to study the “ecology” of the child and the “anthropology of the modern Malaysian school” and classroom in order to ascertain why children become disillusioned in schools and declare their freedom and irresponsibility on the streets, past midnight. We need to find out where their parents are .

We need to study the socio-economic make-up of the youth at risk and ascertain the nature of psychological emotional, and even spiritual derangement that is plaguing our youth. We need to hold parents accountable for their children’s behavior, not just leave already stressed and poorly-paid teachers to become “correctional officers”, while trying to create success for all. Parents must be given trainings in what matters for their children in school and how to monitor behaviors. Schooling should be a peaceful partnership between the child, parents, teachers, and the society we wish to create. It is not about stealing the minds of children of tomorrow or the benefit of politics of the here and now

We need to study the ecology of the media and the nature of fast changing economy to see the impact of it on the youth of today. What are the youth watching on TV? Who produces junk programs that produces the “GIGO” (garbage-in-garbage-out) mind? How does the media exploit the insecurities of our youth?

Certainly a lot to study and act upon.

But first and foremost, we must study ourselves as a nation–where are we going? And–we need to stop political parties from further nurturing ‘rempitism’. There are better ways–by being fair yet firm.

Let us pray that those with “rempitised” minds do not become the next generation of our political leaders. Better still, let us curb their enthusiasm.!

  1. #1 by shortie kiasu on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 4:02 pm

    If deliquents can be treated as heroes here in Malaysia by the UMNO Youth leaders, especially by Khairy, something is serious wrong here.

    Shouldn’t deliquents be put away in proper place they deserved?

    This happens only in Malaysia and in UMNO Youth.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 4:12 pm

    The cause of Mat Rempitism ? Unemployment. The perpetuation of Mat Rempitism ? Encouragement from UMNO. The benefits to UMNO? Easy mass mobilisation in the event of need such as to deter or disrupt.

  3. #3 by Taiko on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 4:52 pm

    Godfather: “The benefits to UMNO? Easy mass mobilisation in the event of need such as to deter or disrupt”

    Great judgement. Should UMO loses power, they would unleash these rascals to gain back power. Remember, they lost in the election in 1969.

    While UMO glorifies Mat Pipit, DAP should condemn the Ah Longs as ‘terrorists’.

    Show the people the stark difference between the two parties.

  4. #4 by Libra2 on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 4:55 pm

    When an education system fails to satisfy the diverse needs and interests of its young population, the end product would be disillusioned youths who have lost their sense of direction.
    Go to any major towns in the country and will see them gathered at parks, bridges and road junctions. Mind you these are “failures” in school and eventually will pose a huge problem to the family unit and by extension to the society.
    Little wonder more than 70% of students in the university are girls. These female graduates are expected to pick these Rempits as their future spouses or remain single. It is already happening – girls “marrying downwards”.
    I would consider this Rempit problem as the biggest failure of the UMNO government.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 5:39 pm

    Why dignify these good-for-nothings with glory names such as ‘Mat Cemerlang’? Give these scum their proper names, that is Mat Sampah! Make the North Pole Free Fall expedition really free falls, that is without the use of parachutes, and I am sure lots of Malaysians will gladly contribute RM5,000 each to such a worthy cause. RM5,000 is a small sum of money well spent to rid our country of these scum and dump their useless carcasses in the North Pole

  6. #6 by hang tuah on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 6:01 pm

    umno youth is not gloryfying the rempits, in fact they are making use of the rempits for other political agenda.

    rebranding them as mat cemerlang is only an idea to make rempits into believing they are useful to the society.

    hope these rempits’ will not get con by the sil.

    are we going back into zaman jahiliah ? perhaps hadhari is about that.

    shake head………

  7. #7 by Jong on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 6:13 pm


    You are so right, well said.

    Isn’t there one Captain Rempit in PM’s household?!

  8. #8 by ahkok1982 on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 6:31 pm

    This is all about trying to psycho ppl into thinking tt semua-nya ok. The name tt represents e group is actually a v strong first impression tt is y umno wanna label these mat rempits as mat cemerlangs. human by nature easily focus onto e negatives. Mat rempits r already widely known to b e scum of e country n nothing but menace. In their usual way to sweep everything under e rug, they r now trying to remove e negativity of their name into a positive tone of “cemerlang” to promote e “feel good” feeling to once again blind e gullible.
    on closer look, wat e gov is doing right now is actually encouraging more ppl to b mat rempits. right now, they r gg to sponsor these hooligans for a parachute jump at e north pole all expense paid by taxpayers. if one has any brain matter, e conclusion of y these menace do wat they do is simple: the thrill of having an adrenaline rush by racing n of course, e sex life.

    so wat would a parachute jump do?
    give them more adrenaline rush.

    wat would they learn from this jump?
    become a mat rempit n they will b rewarded w a high adrenaline free of charge north pole parachute jump.

    they will only learn as easily as pavlov’s dog did, tt e life tt they r leading right now will only lead to them being rewarded. race motorcycles = free noth pole jump. beat up snatch thieves = free motorcycle.

    this is seriously idiocy to e max. e country is g to e dumps faster than those mat rempits can rev their bikes.

    To Libra2: there is nothing w girls marrying down. monetary worth or e education level of e guy does not determine everything. but then of course, there r more trash among guys (of a particular race) compared to gals. in case u all think tt i am a feminist, i am also a guy.

    To k1980: care to tell me where to donate tt RM5,000? I will gladly pay tt RM5,000 as a form of national service. Anyway, i think e national service should include sniper training where they position themselves at e grandstand of a racing course w unlimited ammo n then invite those mat rempits to hav a free racing day. tt is wat i call national service.

  9. #9 by smeagroo on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 6:47 pm

    Uncle Kit,

    Look at the numbers, to the UMNO fellas it could spell a coup of probably 50000 votes for them.

    What’s next? Drug addicts for South Pole expedition?

  10. #10 by Godamn Singh on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 7:58 pm

    ” It is already happening – girls “marrying downwards”.

    Huh?? I thought this has always been the case, going down after going up?

  11. #11 by Godamn Singh on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 8:01 pm

    When I was back in Malaysia, there were only Minah Karan smuggling computer chips out of factories in their bras.

  12. #12 by DarkHorse on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 8:07 pm

    Harnessing the energy of Mat Rempits (bikers etc) towards a positive purpose would appear to be at best a short sighted solution to a growing social menace.

    It’s like asking Hells Angels to help in police work.

  13. #13 by japankiller on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 9:13 pm

    this is because UMNO putra are being organised by the past mat rempit.

    Look at what the hell UMNO putra can do today, not just complain and demanding but they are still complain and demanding today.

  14. #14 by undergrad2 on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 9:32 pm

    “First, we need to stop sending the wrong message. We need to reward those who are doing well academically regardless of race, and help channel their creativity through the spectrum of their educational experience.

    We need to create classrooms with smaller sizes so that the needs of these children can be met according to their interest.”

    We do not have a dearth of arm chair critics like yourself Azly – and home grown ones too. There is no scarcity of ideas floating out there. We know what needs to be done for a very long time. But for as long as education remains politicized, we should not expect to see change.

  15. #15 by smeagroo on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 9:44 pm

    Mat Rempits are easy target for the UMNO fellas. Majority of these Rempits have no positions in life. But imagine a big boss lavishing you with “gifts” and “power” one day if you can control a group of people to do your every wants and needs. They are also cheap to be bought over. Girls without education will be the prize. They are easy targets as well. They will do anything for money as we have heard and seen. So, by getting the most influential Mat Rempit on your side you have more or less controlled a huge group of “voters” and probably “hooligans” at their disposal. Am i right?

  16. #16 by MY VIEW on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 9:45 pm

    I will be joining Mat Rempit soon. At least I will be recognised and rewarded even if I rob and kill people. Thanks to the sponser Umno Putera.

  17. #17 by negarawan on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 9:49 pm

    It doesn’t come as a surprise why UMNO is glorifying and justifying criminals as they are all in the same boat.

  18. #18 by MY VIEW on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 9:53 pm

    Negarawan, you mean same boat or same bike?

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 9:55 pm

    “Perhaps our minister of education need to spend one class period a month in different classroom settings, as an undercover substitute teacher, to understand the culture of the classroom and to make sense of why many things are failing.”

    Yes. I can see in my minds eye now Samy Vellu sitting at the back of the class pretending to be a teacher.

  20. #20 by MY VIEW on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 10:04 pm

    I really admire you guys for spending your valuable time suggesting and proposing for things to be done so that there can be improvements overall for the country. Are you guys the 80% whom the Tourism Minister was talking about?

  21. #21 by Jong on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 10:18 pm

    MY VEW,

    No, no Minister Adnan was confused, he must have been frequenting those groups of foreign “unemployed women” once too often.

  22. #22 by Pengajar on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 10:36 pm

    Where I am located, this illegal racing happens all the time on almost all Friday evenings. It is these racers’ date with danger. It is the same roads too. They would race from one u turn to another, from one roundabout to another, regardless the number of other vehicles on the road. This always happen when there are no police checks. Some look like gangsters. But some look educated. The news reported that even university students are doing illegal racing. Not just boys. But also girls. The main reason is boredom. Because of this boredom, they think of exciting activities like using illegal racing as a form of gambling. Sometimes the police give them a chase and it is a dangerous call because the police car might just hit you.

    The politicians are feeding the hungry ego of these illegal racers. Kind words and kind deeds to make them feel guilty about racing illegally and that they can do something better with their lives. They hope to turn them back to the straight path again. Unless these illegal racers find life meaningful or else they would still look for exciting games to play.

    Who is a good teacher ? Given the present scenario, even a good teacher will find it a struggle to teach. Many teaching personnel are not cut out for the job. Instead of having a healthy competition among themselves, they have to fight in an aggressive and unfair manner to reach the top. Mind you, even the Principal does not have in her mind the thoughts of wanting to be fair to her teachers. The teachers should spend a lot of time preparing lessons. However, they have to do everything else to please the Principal because of the unfair factor. There are Principals and teachers who love to observe politics and the everyday’s happennings for example like now in Malaysia the Bumiputera presence is strong and because of that they would be good to the Bumiputera staff and they would not attempt to correct any
    of their mistakes. So do you think you have such good quality teachers ? If the teaching profession fails to motivate itself, do you think it can successfully motivate students who are not interested in education ?

  23. #23 by MY VIEW on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 10:50 pm


    Thanks for the answer.

    With this level of quality Ministers, how do you expect them to apprehend your valuable suggestions and constructive criticism and to come up with a comprehensive solutions to the national problems which are escalating day by day?

  24. #24 by Kingkong on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 11:34 pm

    In the history of new China, when Mao Tse Tung and his cronies ( Chiang Ching ) wanted to reinforce their regime, they did use the gang of four and the red guards when the whole China was nearly turned upside down.

    Glorifying Mat Rempits is a kind of the same agenda, Beware!

  25. #25 by Cinapek on Monday, 19 March 2007 - 11:42 pm

    While the school system is partly to blame for failing to teach these kids the right values, the main problem I think lies in the homes. One has to wonder why the majority of Mat Rempits are Malays. Does it have anything to do with the larger family size of Malay homes? Has it got anything to do with the rapid urbanization that has resulted in an erosion of the “kampung spirit” that has helped with inculcating the right values in the past?

    I agree we should not waste time and effort finding short fixes and instead commission a social study to find out what went wrong and prescribe a long term solution before we add more Mat Rempits to the streets.

  26. #26 by drybones on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 12:11 am

    The youths are joining Mat Rempits is the “in things” to do . It’s the trends and feel good factor as you do not want to looks abnormal and isolated from the normal crowd of Mat Rempit. What more with so many encouragements and “tayang” throw in by Putra Umno.
    Never mindlah school dropouts, dapat jodoh, naik status by kahwin perempuan graduan as “girls are now marrying downwards”.
    Income masih tak cukup, can kahwin 4 girls graduan gaji tinggi .

  27. #27 by mob1900 on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 4:08 am

    Honorable Encik Azly,
    If they truly know the difference between ‘fair and firm’ in education, you would be one of the chosen local educators leader to stem this tide of education system decline we’re facing. ;)

  28. #28 by sotong on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 6:11 am

    This is the result of bad leaders setting bad example for their followers/members.

    It is disgraceful of any political party to exploit this situation.

  29. #29 by outsider in own country on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 10:03 am

    as the saying goes, monkey see, monkey do. mat rempits are just following the examples set by their not so-clever-leaders where semuanya ok! malaysia boleh!!!

  30. #30 by accountability on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 1:26 pm

    rewarding deliquent behaviour, over and over again, despite numerous evidence or historical failings with controlling these menace to society

    instead of education, rehabilitation and penalties, these criminals are getting rewarded!!!
    where’s the common sense??!!

  31. #31 by sotong on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 3:08 pm

    The country is really sick!

  32. #32 by WTF-Msia on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 5:06 pm

    sickening to the core…

  33. #33 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 10:21 pm

    /// I do not have fond memories of my time in the country, although I did well at school, I guess, I dislike autocratic and freedom-curbing societies where the rights of the individual are sacrificed for the whims of the elected collective in the name of nation-building. ///

    This is the country that had provided you with the education that your own country cannot provide you. This is the country that enabled you to be where you are and what you are now. She does not ask you to love her. But does she deserved to be slagged off by you in this manner? What gratitude……

  34. #34 by sj on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 - 4:27 am

    All thanks to Khairy the Son in Law. These are criminals we are talking about and yet they are being treated with red carpet.

  35. #35 by Godamn Singh on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 - 8:13 am

    “She does not ask you to love her. But does she deserved to be slagged off…” TheWrathOfGrapes

    Smart ass! Take your wrath somewhere else – wrong thread.

  36. #36 by Count Dracula on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 - 9:35 am

    “…why children fail in school but graduate to become Mat and Minah Rempits or “Alongs” and all kinds of human beings alienated by the system ….” Dr. Azly

    Don’t know about “Alongs” but I know of Ah Longs.

  37. #37 by MY VIEW on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 - 7:15 pm

    To TheWrathOfGrapes – you are irrelavent.

  38. #38 by Count Dracula on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 - 7:41 pm

    More than that he sounds a pompous ass.

  39. #39 by akarmalaysian on Thursday, 12 April 2007 - 5:32 pm

    mat khairy…pls grow up.i dunno wat kinda game ur playing up against ur own ass in branding mat rempit as mat cemerlang.i think this is a fine example of why all these brain drain occurs.u must be one of those brainless politicians going around fishing for just anything to get ur popularity going.pleaseeee…do something worthwhile for the people and fight for a good cause.cemerlang my foot.why dun u try hiring ah longs and place them in our finance ministers department?or even in our IRD?wudnt dat be more useful than to waste ur time on a bunch of “sampah rakyat”?

  40. #40 by Angry_Malaysian on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 - 11:25 pm

    It is both humorous and alarmed to note the remarks on Mat Rempit that were made by the so called enlightened young leaders in Malaysia today. Well, humourous because these so called leaders think Malaysians are fools. Alarmed because our young leaders did actually made such silly remarks on Mat Rempits.

    Well, kudos to all of us Malaysians, MALAYSIA BOLEH!!!

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