Safety Concerns Raised Over Outdoor Dining After Mat Rempit Rides Through Restaurant

Police said the incident happened when the traffic enforcement and investigation department was carrying out a crime prevention operation.

Cover image via @jllmisai (X) & The Borneo Post

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An incident involving a motorcyclist riding through tables and chairs placed outside a restaurant in Persiaran Raja Muda Musa, Port Klang, has sparked safety concerns about outdoor dining

The incident, which happened on 2 January, came to light after a video was uploaded on X by a user, Jalal Misai.

The 22-second video showed a police officer trying to apprehend a rider who was dangerously manoeuvring his motorcycle. In an attempt to evade detention, the rider was seen speeding through and knocking over tables and chairs outside the restaurant.

South Klang district police chief ACP Cha Hoong Fong said the incident happened at 3am when the traffic enforcement and investigation department was carrying out a crime prevention operation, 'Op Ambang Tahun Baru 2024'.

"During the operation, some errant motorcyclists were competing and going head to head with one another. They tried to escape from being detained when they saw the police personnel," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.

"Attempts were made to block or stop a Yamaha Y15 motorcycle that was being ridden fast and dangerously by a man, but somehow he managed to escape and ride away," he added.

The case is currently being investigated under Section 42(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

Image via @jllmisai (X)

Following the incident, Alliance For A Safe Community chairperson Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said restaurant operators and customers need to be conscious of safety when dining on a road

He noted that Malaysians prefer to eat outdoors at restaurants because they find it warmer inside and prefer the open-air atmosphere, reported the New Straits Times.

"But anything could happen and we can never know the circumstances and what might happen next," said Lee.

"Of course, they [customers] have the right to eat wherever they want. But at the same time, they must be conscious of their safety," he added.

Furthermore, Lee mentioned that, according to the report, the incident occurred as the police were chasing these reckless motorcyclists who were attempting to escape from being detained.

However, he also said there have been instances in the past where incidents like cars crashing into eateries occurred even without police operations.

"Fortunately, (this) incident did not involve any injuries or death," he said.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

Image via The Borneo Post

Lee also called on local authorities to strengthen law enforcement efforts as safety should always be the top priority

"Local authorities provide licensing to restaurant operators for their business. But not to put tables and chairs on the roadside or parking lot," he said.

Nevertheless, he highlighted that the public's preference to dine outdoors for fresh air, coupled with the business motive of restaurants expanding seating areas to attract more customers and boost income, contributes to such occurrences.

"So, which one is more important? Safety or business? This is something that local authorities should monitor," he said.

You can watch the footage of the incident here:

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