A Mat Rempit is a Malaysian term for "an individual who participates in activities such as illegal street racing, bike stunt performance, petty crime and public disturbance using a motorcycle", usually involving 2- and 4-stroke underbone
motorcycles, colloquially known as Kapcai
, or scooters
. Mat Rempits are often seen on Malaysian streets, where they would gather in groups ranging from as small as 3 up to several dozen bikes at a predetermined place and go against each other for cheap thrills such as races and stunts, such as the wheelie, superman (lying flat on the seat), wikang
, and scorpion (standing on the seat with one leg during a wheelie) and many flashier and dangerous ones. Generally, Mat Rempits tend to avoid the authorities and seem to be well-informed of their whereabouts. However, there are also cases where they openly rebel against authorities where they would run through roadblocks, ride against the traffic or hit police officers with their bikes. Mat Rempits often race or perform stunts without proper safety gear and properly-equipped bikes, which often lead to accidents, causing major injuries or death.
The word "Rempit" comes from "ramp-(rev)-it" (ramp the throttle). According to Kamus Dewan
, the definition of "Rempit" is "the act of whipping with a cane". A possible alternative source of the word is derived from the noise made by a 2-stroke
motorcycle. "Mat" is a Malay short form for Muhammad, for example Muhammad Ali can be contracted to Mat Ali. Mat is also a slang term used to refer to a male person who is usually of Malay descent
Organization and traits
Mat Rempits usually gather in groups in bustling city centers on weekend nights. These gatherings are often followed by impromptu performances of stunts or races along a stretch of road. The term "Mat Rempit" itself usually come with the negative connotation of illegal activities, ranging from petty crimes such as public disturbance and reckless riding, to more serious ones such as gangster
ism, gang robbery, street fighting, assault, vandalism, theft and bullying. Most motorcycles used by the Mat Rempits do not meet standard specifications, or have been modified extensively for greater speed. Many Mat Rempits also opt to install aftermarket exhausts for their higher performance and loud noise.
Additionally, most Mat Rempits do not have valid motorcycle licenses, do not pay road tax
es, and ride stolen motorcycles
The Star Online Motoring Blog
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A growing number of housing estates have also been turned into racing tracks. It is estimated that there are about 200,000 Mat Rempits in Malaysia.
[''Rempit – Budaya Menunjuk-nunjuk'' – Kosmo! (in Malay) (4 January 2007)]
In April 2009, Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said that the Mat Rempit had become violent and brazen instead of just being a public nuisance. He said, "We have to come down hard on the Mat Rempit who have started to become involved in robberies, snatch thefts and are even attacking innocent road users and we also need to use harsh tactics to catch the Mat Rempit that try to runaway from the roadblocks ." He also added that "Parents must be more responsible and should not allow their underage children to drive cars or ride motorcycles"
Mat Rempits often end up being hospitalized with varying degrees of injury after failing to perform their actions or stunts such as 'superman', 'spider' and many more. Every weekend, a number of Mat Rempits were hospitalized after being involved in accidents from high-speed racing and/or stunts.
According to Selangor
police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah, it was the parents who are the ones who should be blamed on this and while Kuala Lumpur
deputy police chief, Datuk Amar Singh said that it was due to lack of parents' attention, Amar also pointed out that especially when they are in a big group, they would act aggressively by attacking the authorities and challenging traffic laws indiscriminately. He further pointed out that their peers will challenge them to do something outrageous like assaulting police officers and challenging road rules, just to prove that they're not cowards."
The widespread phenomenon of the subculture has driven some politicians in Malaysia to voice out concern and need to help rehabilitate the people involved in activities pertaining to that culture. Khairy Jamaluddin
and Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim
as he was formerly mat rempit. Khairy says "should become the "Eyes and Ears" of Malaysian"
In 2006, a Member of Parliament representing Jenderak, Pahang
suggested that the Mat Rempit should be accepted and guided to save them from indulging in dangerous activities.
In 2008, newspaper Kosmo! reported that the Mat Rempit in the state of Kelantan
would be allowed to show off their skills at a special track to be built by the state government in Tanah Merah
. The then-Menteri Besar, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat
said amidst the criticism that the track was not a waste of money, stating:
The Kelantan approach was noted of by the neighbouring state Kedah
, where its state government looked into the possibility of building such an infrastructure, to "overcome the menace", saying another option was to create more job opportunities for them as most of them were jobless. The former state's Chief Minister Azizan Abdul Razak
Notable massive operations
On 3 May 2009, the Bukit Aman Traffic Division of the Royal Malaysian Police
, together with the Road Transport Department
, launched a major integrated operation to crack down on both car and Mat Rempit motorcycle illegal racing. More than 115 motorcycles were impounded
in the major operation which was held simultaneously in Kuala Lumpur
, Selangor, Penang
and Negeri Sembilan
In the media
The subculture surrounding the Mat Rempit has been the focus of numerous films and songs in Malaysia. Film depictions of the subculture began (and made popular) in 1984 with ''Gila-Gila Remaja'', ''Ali Setan'' (1985), ''Litar Kasih'' (1996), ''KL Menjerit'' (2002) and its prequel ''KL Menjerit 1'' (2005),
'' (2006), ''Bohsia: Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam'' (2009), ''Adnan Semp-It
'' and ''V3 Samseng Jalanan'' (both in 2010).
Songs about the Mat Rempit subculture
* Kazar – Memburu Impian (from Gila-Gila Remaja)
* Spider – Salut (From Bintang 12
* Yazer featuring Doul – Rempit
* Ustaz Akhil Hayy Rawa – Relaku Rempit (parodying Spider's song called ''Relaku Pujuk'')
* JJ and Rudy (The Morning Crew) from hitz.fm
– Not So Furious (parodying Teriyaki Boyz
's called ''Tokyo Drift'')
* Fairuz Hafeez – Kisah Mat Rempit / Mat Rempit Jatuh Tergolek
Deejays JJ and Rudy (The Morning Crew) from hitz.fm
radio station have made a parody
of Teriyaki Boyz
's called ''We're Not So Furious'', designed to mock Mat Rempit culture.
Mat Rempit was also the main influence for the song "Salut" by the Malaysian band, Spider, in their album Bintang 12
* Street racing
, Mat Rempit's common bike types
: Mat Rempit's origin, and Japanese counterpart
* List of subcultures
* Ah Beng
: the Chinese counterpart to the Mat Rempit, who sometimes drives a bespoilered hot hatch.
Illegal racers and spectators to face heavier fines and longer jail termsMat Rempit re-branding futileMat Rempit ‘untameable’Mat Rempit beat up executive
Category:Hazardous motor vehicle activities