Wednesday January 26, 2011
By NG CHENG YEE
KUALA LUMPUR: S. Velan regrets his wild motor racing days, which left him half-paralysed, and is asking youths not to repeat his mistake.
“Please think of me in this condition every night before you go to sleep,” the 27-year-old advised Mat Rempit who are still dicing with death on the road.
Velan, a basketball player with the national paralympics team, said he got involved in illegal motor racing while in Form One.
“I had many friends who were illegal racers and under their influence, I also became a Mat Rempit,” he said at the launch of an integrated road safety operation in conjunction with Chinese New Year here yesterday.
Velan, from Seremban, got involved in a road accident 10 years ago.
“I was going at 170km per hour on a RXZ motorcycle one rainy day. I was trying to take a corner but I missed it and rammed into a lamp-post.
“I can no longer walk and have to use a wheelchair for the rest of my life,” he said.
Velan said initially, he was so ashamed of being seen in a wheelchair that he just stayed in bed all day long. “I could not help but feel sorry for myself,” he added.
Velan, who is now an ambassador for the Road Safety Department, said many of his closest friends stopped being Mat Rempit when they saw what happened to him.
“I hope other Mat Rempit will also stop illegal racing when they read my story,” he said.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, who was also at the function, said the ministry was targeting to reduce deaths by 10% during the Chinese New Year period.
He said there was 3.39 deaths in every registered vehicles last year compared to 3.55 deaths in 2009, a drop of 4.5%.