When someone says street racing, you’ll probably think of drifting, drag racing and Mat Rempit.
Street Racing in Malaysia
Yep, you heard it right. In Malaysia, Car Racing isn’t the only form of street racing you’ll find.
Yes, there’s countless of drag racing and car drift racing on dangerous hill roads like Cameron Highlands, Bukit Tinggi and Teluk Bahang.
But there’s as much culture around motor racing that a term has been coined from this phenomena called “Mat Rempit”.
Mat Rempit: Rebels Without a Cause
Mat Rempit are like youth biker gangs that are infamous all over Malaysia for being public troublemakers. There are countless of news reports detailing how Mat Rempits have caused road accidents from their risky and dangerous motorcycle stunts to illegal drag racing in highways.
Authorities have long struggled to contain the Mat Rempit from taking over. But in 2018 alone, 100,000 Mat Rempit have been recorded all over the country (with 5,000 in each state).
Why Malaysian Youth Become Mat Rempit
Mat Rempit in Malaysia are like any other Rebel Youth, except they use motorbikes or what’s locally known as “kapchai” to get a taste of low-cost, adrenaline-inducing excitement.
One research explains how a survey done by students discovered that Malaysian youth become Mat Rempit because of 4 Major Factors: (1) Boredom, (2) Thrill-seeking Behavior, (3) Peer Recognition and (4) Peer Pressure.
In short, the same reason why other trouble-making Youth get into gangs and other sorts of misbehavior. You can say that it’s part of growing up to be rebellious and reckless because you feel the world misunderstands you.
But Mat Rempit activities are becoming so dangerous to the point they’re taking lives. That’s why there are calls to either make Mat Rempit motor racing legal, or to help recruit these youth to channeling their energies into doing good things for society.
Formula 1 & Professional Racing in Malaysia
But there’s a reason why not everyone becomes professional racers despite their love for all things racing. The truth is it costs a fortune to race on official race tracks. Even Professional Formula One Racers only get to drive actual Formula One cars a few hours in a year because of how expensive it is to do so, leaving their training with mostly physical exercise and simulation.
According to Nabil Jeffri, a day of testing on the actual track for a maximum of 4 hours costs around RM80,000 already.
So that’s also a reason why Mat Rempit is so popular. It’s hard to look for sponsors when competing Nationwide and Internationally. Sadly, the ugly truth is racers actually pay for their own equipment (and other racing costs).
Mat Rempit get to experience all of that with just RM10 or RM5 for fuel–and you can ride around town all night, too. (Given that you already have a motorbike or kapchai, but if you don’t have one yet, secondhand Honda EX5 costs just around RM2,780).
Toyota Malaysia’s Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival
You can still catch Car Racing Festivals and Events in Malaysia, especially with the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival Season 3 Race 3 starting this weekend on 15-16 February.
You won’t just get to see seasoned Pros dominating the Vios Challenge, you can also watch Celebrities try their hand at car racing. It’s a lot of fun, plus there are also other activities for the more casual goers.
Racing Games in Malaysia
It’s true that car racing may be a niche sport in Malaysia, but everyone loves racing games. If you want to play online car racing games, try Virtual Slot Car Racing, Virtual Motor Racing or even F1 Racing! Try your hand at racing in the comforts of your own home!
Did you like our article? Give it a share! We also have a list of the Top 10 Budget-Friendly New Cars that will Launch this 2020 in Malaysia that you might want to check out.