The latest offense poised to join the list of cane-worthy crimes in Malaysia is second offense street racers. The law has yet to hit the legal books of Malaysia and is more directed toward the motorcycle gangs called the Mat Rempits than at what other countries recognize as Street Racers, but a broad interpretation of the new law could leave Raging-Ricers at risk.
The Mat Rempits are motorcycle gangs notorious in Malaysia for racing along country roads, vandalism, rape and other offenses. A first offense conviction for taking part in their high-speed racing is the equivalent of a $1,597 fine (5,000 ringgit), a maximum of 5-years in prison and a 3-year suspension of the guilty’s drivers license. As second offense conviction could result in a minimum 10-year sentence in prison, the US dollar equivalent of $3,178 fine (10,000 ringgit) and 3-strikes of the cane.
To anyone unfamiliar with caning we are not speaking of a this whip or principals paddle. This is an 8-ft cane of knotty bamboo that can cut flesh to the bone. Subjects of caning are sometimes reported to have passed out by the second swipe. The wounds from caning may heal, but the deep scarring of both the flesh and psyche are permanent. Caning as a deterrent, if and when enforced, could certain make breaking the law a far less appealing venture.
While many complain about the efforts of California municipalities who employ the crushing of convicted Street Racers rides, imagine the outcry from those same racers over the idea of a Malaysian Caning as punishment. Odds are the ultra-committed Street Racer would attempt to flee capture even harder to avoid a caning to go along with the crushing of their high-octane racer. Oh, not only are the racers subject to punishment, but so too are the organizers of these races.
It is always interesting to see the lengths other nations and governments will go to squelch the illegal actions of their citizenry. Caning seems a rather savage corporal punishment to many, but seemingly its enforcement is saved for the most “deserving” of offenders. It will be intriguing to see what the effect on the actions of the street racing Mat Rempits gangs will be in Malaysia.