PM's wife says Permata programme for Mat Rempits has helped the youngsters rehabilitate and involve themselves in useful activities.
She said she got the idea to help the youths, who are known for loud, illegal racing and gangsterism, after she and Prime Minister Najib Razak could not sleep because of the ruckus caused by their motorbikes.
“Datuk Seri Najib was raging that he could not sleep, so from then on I began to take the matter seriously,” she said
She said she was inspired to start a camp programme organised by Permata with the cooperation of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the police in 2009.
“I called the police to brief us about the Mat Rempit. At that time, seven or eight years ago, there were about 30,000 of them who were mostly Malay kids,” she said.
“They were not just from around Kuala Lumpur but also from interior areas like Felda estates and areas near Kuala Lumpur,” she said, adding that the police then agreed to conduct a course for Mat Rempits.
“I said that we should not force participants to attend. Let them come willingly.
“Out of the 30,000 we got 33 participants. I said let it be and let us just start,” she said in reply to a question on how the idea materialised, at Permata’s “Kem Perkasa” programme at the Kompleks Komuniti Muhibbah Kuala Lumpur today.
She said the course helped rehabilitate the youths and many involved themselves in useful activities after two months.
She said many wanted to start their own businesses and some even wanted to join the police force.
She added that a mother once wept as she thanked her for helping make her Mat Rempit child a better person through “Kem Perkasa”.
Rosmah said the programme also steered participants towards other specialisations like cooking, beauty care, education and photography.
“My hope is to see the youths gain a proper direction in their lives. I want to see them become useful people not only for their families but also for the nation.”
“I always tell the prime minister that we need to take care of the youths and cannot just let them be. After we build beautiful roads and buildings, these are the people who will take over when we move on.
“So if we don’t take care of them now, what will happen to the development the government has made possible?” she said.
Put RM30 million to better use, please
Mat Rempits and the misery they cause