KUALA LUMPUR • Unable to stop young motorcyclists from racing illegally on Kuala Lumpur roads, Malaysian authorities are planning to set up a night track around the city centre for them to race on.
Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said some roads might be closed for a few hours to enable them to race, modelling the move on Kuala Lumpur's bi-weekly Car-Free morning
Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan, the minister in charge of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan federal territories, said he had discussed the proposal with Kuala Lumpur Mayor Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz.
Mr Tengku Adnan said safety barriers would be placed along the identified routes at predetermined times to enable the "mat motor", or racing guys in Malay, to race.
"It is not meant to encourage them to race, but to control the situation because we are aware that this is their only form of entertainment due to the high cost of living," he said after attending an event.
He said this would also prevent them from participating in illegal street racing.
CONTROLLING, NOT ENCOURAGING
It is not meant to encourage them to race, but to control the situation because we are aware that this is their only form of entertainment due to the high cost of living.
DATUK SERI TENGKU ADNAN, on a night track being set up for illegal racers
Dozens of Malay youth are often seen racing illegally along the main roads of Kuala Lumpur and its satellite city, Petaling Jaya, on weekends, weaving through regular traffic and causing angry complaints from other motorists.
Illegal racing on main roads are also held in other states from Johor to Kelantan to Penang, and they are sometimes attended by hundreds of onlookers, with big bets placed on expected winners. To stop them, police regularly hold roadblocks on weekends.
There have been calls over the years for the government to tame the activities of these youth, which sometimes include gang fights.
Mr Tengku Adnan said the authorities are looking at turning the entire racing event into a carnival, where food trucks would be invited to peddle their food.
The government, he added, is also planning workshops to teach these motorcyclists to repair their machines, assisting them in developing a skill. However, he said, the proposal is still at a preliminary stage with no location identified yet.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK