Call Me A Rider

Johor Jaya Toastmasters Club

Humorous Speech Contest 2013/2014

2nd Place

When people loosely term all motorcyclists as mat rempit or minah rempit, I feel enrage.

My fellow Toastmasters,

Allow me to make it clear. Mat Rempit is the local term for illegal bike racers. They consist of probably 5% of the whole motorcyclists population in Malaysia. The rest, the 95% consist of those who either; 1. Those who have given up on Malaysia public transportation. 2. Those who are confident of their riding skills and want to save time on road in this congested city, or 3. Those who are in the lowest income segment among Malaysian population. I’m all three in the 95%. Never have I been or even interested in joining the 5% illegal racers. I’ve never even seen a live illegal racing in my whole life.

I’ve been asked some funny questions when people know a girl like me ride motorbike. “How many kmph do you usually push?” “What happen when it rains?” “Are you not afraid?” To the question “How many kmph do you usually push?”, I feel like answering “Mr, you question is invalid.” The second question, “What happen when it rains?” I feel like answering, ‘Madam, have you ever heard of an ancient human invention that is called rain coat?” The final question, “Are you not afraid?” Phewh!

Asking a rider whether he/she is afraid of riding is like asking a fireman whether he is afraid of fire, or asking a skydiver whether he is afraid of height, or asking a Toastmasters club president whether she’s afraid of speaking in front. Of course I am afraid. I just found some ways to make it manageable and maintain my level of confidence in riding. Just so you know, the number one death factor in Malaysia is heart attack and road accident does not reach even half percent of it.

Motorcycle logic and 4-tyre vehicle logic are different. Let me give you an example. When you drive on a sharp corner ramp, you push the brake pedal, right? We, riders, we don’t do that. We decrease the angle between our knee and the road surface in conjunction with the direction of the corner. We turn left like this. We turn right like this. It is very hard for me to explain this to drivers who don’t ride.

I was enraged when, once, there is this guy who shall not be named who proposed to the parliament to not allow motorcycles in major cities. When I saw this in newspaper, I told myself, “Calm down. Calm down. Aal iz well.” Hello, Mr. Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named! Some people take 9-year loan to buy the cheapest car in Malaysia. Public transportations are unreliable. The petrol price increased. And now, you’re suggesting this. I thank God they ignored that suggestion.

I feel weird when some people who just knew that I ride motorcycle start telling me why they are afraid of riding one. I feel annoyed when they proceeded telling me about their trauma because they had once seen blood, pieces of human body in a road accident. Doing that is like telling people about your diarrhea specifically, when the other people are about to eat something on a dining table. Or like telling me “Afzan, I foresee that you’ll be involved in a road accident. There are blood everywhere. Pieces of human body… and so on.” Stop doing that, human! You’re hurting my brain!

Fellow Toastmasters,

It is natural as human beings we are able to do what others don’t. And others are able to do some things that we are not. Motorcyclists are human being. Next time you want to argue about the danger, show me some concrete data. Or you’ll realize you are just being mathematically irrational. In my case, right now, transport is a need, but car is a convenience. To the ministers, I have three hopes – decrease car price, decrease petrol price, or at least, make public transportation efficient.

Comment wisely. All comments are subjected to Act 588 MCMC 1988.

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