JB ‘mat basikal’ tragedy: Why aren’t their parents held responsible too?

By Mariam Mokhtar


ON Oct 28, 2019, 24-year-old sales promoter, Sam Ke Ting, was acquitted of driving recklessly, before a road accident which resulted in the deaths of eight teenagers.

The accident happened at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, in Johor Bahru, at 3.20am on Feb 18, 2017.

However, the Johor Bahru High Court judge Shahanaz Sulaiman yesterday ordered Sam to enter her defence. The decision was made after finding that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against Sam, thus setting aside the Magistrate’s Court’s earlier decision to acquit and discharge her.

The dead teenagers are Mohamad Azrie Danish Zulkefli, 14; Muhamad Shahrul Izzwan Azzuraimie, 14; Muhammad Firdauz Danish Mohd Azhar, 16; Fauzan Halmijan, 13; Mohamad Azhar Amir, 16; Muhammad Harith Iskandar Abdullah, 14; Muhammad Shahrul Nizam Marudin, 14 and Haizad Kasrin, 16.

I have this nagging suspicion that if the authorities severely punish the parents, mat basikals may disappear from our roads. Lax leaders, lax parents.

Here are my questions in regards to the case:

  • These teenagers on their modified bicycles, were racing illegally on public roads at 3am? What happened to parental control?
  • Don’t their parents know of their whereabouts?
  • There are hundreds of teenagers loitering around at night, from the footage shown. What happened to responsible parenting?

Start at the beginning

Religious people have “corrupted” the Malay mind, so that they are unable to accept any hard truths.

When you tell Malay parents to practice family planning, they will say, “Children are a gift from God”.

But if children are a gift from God, why does the child, or parent, treat his or her life as a cheap, worthless commodity?

When you tell the Malays that driving recklessly may cause an accident, he or she will say, “If it is God’s will, then so be it”.

What a pity that the hadith, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim”, which when combined with the opportunity to correct one’s sins and mistakes to improve oneself, is lost on the Malay mindset. Why are so many Malays recalcitrant?

An accident waiting to happen

The cycling tragedy in Johor Baru was an accident waiting to happen. The police have tried unsuccessfully, on numerous occasions, to disperse the cyclists. The boys on their modified bikes quickly disappear at the first sign of a police car.

Mat basikals may grow into mat rempits.

Malay leaders are too slow to accept responsibility and reluctant to be firm.

The nation is falling apart because we do NOT have Malays who are fit to be leaders. None from the ulamas, the elites, the political class or the academics.

We only have Malays who excel at stealing, lying, fornicating, and all of them have huge egos.

Charging Sam again, appears to be a political vendetta. This is revenge politics because the general election is around the corner and some politicians want to keep the Malay voters sweet.

This is not justice. – Feb 20, 2021.


Mariam Mokhtar is a renowned social activist.

The views expressed are solely of the author and DO NOT necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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