Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said that he plans to help guide children racing on illegally modified bicycles onto the right path
The Youth and Sports Minister told reporters yesterday, 7 November, that building a track for teens racing on illegally modified bicycles, or also known as ‘basikal lajak’, is not enough.
According to him, the right facilities and support are needed to help grow the teens into representatives for the country in future cycling competitions, reported The Star.
He said there are two types of people within the 'basikal lajak' community
Ones who love to modify bicycles and the others who yearn for the "need for speed".
He said those who possess modifying skills can undergo mechanic lessons to put together bicycles with better safety features, while those who love to race can be trained to participate in competitive races.
He said his ministry plans to train these teens at the National Youth Skills Institute to harness their skills.
"The last thing that we want is, if we just push them aside, they will still do it and in the end, they lose their life and safety will be compromised," Malay Mail quoted the Minister as saying.
"So it's about channelling their passion and energy to a more productive path."
However, many quarters have criticised the Youth Minister for encouraging the community and dubbed him as 'Basikal Lajak Minister'
In response, the Minister said some Malaysians only know how to punish the youths and forget how to guide them.
"I have been slammed for taking the stand of wanting to guide and not punish (these modified bicycle racers)," Syed Saddiq wrote in a Facebook post.
"Instead of constantly criticising them, I chose to educate them about road safety."
The 26-year-old Minister said he will grow these teens by enrolling them in Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) programmes and National Cycling Development Programme.
"Let us all find a way to lend a helping hand in guiding these youths to success. We owe it to Malaysia!"
Previously, Bukit Aman warned that they will take legal action against parents whose children are caught using 'basikal lajak':