I like Mat Rempits. I really do. Firstly, they just don’t give a fuck! And I really admire a quality like that in a person. Why should one be bound by the precedents and views of others? Fuck them! If you do not consider yourself as ‘others’, then why be bogged down by their dictates? Get a bike, rev it up to full speed and live freely!
Secondly, Mat Rempits are the outcome of our Government’s policy. And when I say Government, I refer not to just our political parties but I refer to every single one of you; from the fuck who votes to the dude who works in the counter at Lembaga Peperiksaan to the big Bureaucrat who makes the “decisions”.
Think about it for a second: Education or rather Governance in Malaysia isn’t geared towards helping people harness their skills as individuals or providing opportunities to people so that they don’t end up homeless or jobless – Governance in Malaysia is based on providing as much money to build bigger schools, larger sports complexes, taller buildings, better computers and enhanced facilities. We build tools not people.
Nobody really cares about the individual. Nobody is really bothered about the person. Nobody allows the student to find himself.
Now think about the Mat Rempit story: A little boy who comes from a poor as fuck family in a marginalised area often raised by a single parent; most usually his mum who sells karipap by the side of the road. She has to raise this boy and ensure that he gets educated with what meager money she has. The boy now is done with his SPM after scoring a mediocre grade as he had no access to sufficient educational material. He has no real skills and was never coaxed to find it while in school. His teachers never paid attention to him and nobody sat down with him to tell him what his options were after graduating.
So he gets himself a low-paying-mundane-no-skill job in a factory putting pins into holes or making holes in pins. He is severely frustrated in life and buys a cheap motorbike to get to work. He has insufficient money for entertainment, he has no prospects for social mobility and will always be poor – SO he races!
He races to have fun. He races to be recognised. He races to win money.
Thirdly, do we care enough to help them to a different path? Fuck NO! We go on vilifying them, racially discriminating them and the police show absolute disregard for them; savagely beating and brutalising them while in custody – adding more salt to the wound. We pick on them, we laugh at them and we hope for their demise. To a large extent most of us want them locked up and put away so we can all safely use our roads and sleep peacefully at night without being reminded of how we vicariously fucked these young people’s lives up.
But they won’t stop racing and I certainly hope they don’t. It’s a social group, a support group, the Mat Rempits. It’s an opportunity for these youths to meet like-minded individuals who have the same story, to seek acceptance and to collectively realise how pissed off they are with the rest of the nation for treating them like dirt rather than as individuals. So they go on their adventures weekly destroying property, committing crimes and being utter hooligans – giving back to society what society gave to them.