Former Head of the Planning and Policy Division of the Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), Wan Agyl Wan Hassan, suggested that the sale of kapcai motorcycles be stopped in stages.
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Malaysian transport expert Wan Agyl Wan Hassan submitted the proposal during a talk show on Astro Awani after describing how the kapcai is a ‘killer machine’ based on the large number of deaths attributed to it.
A kapcai is the colloquial name for an underbone. It is typically known as a small motorcycle built on a frame consisting mostly of one large-diameter tubular component. The name derives from the Cantonese slang word “Cub 仔 (zai)“, with ‘Cub’ referring to popular Honda Cub and ‘仔 (zai)’ meaning “Little”. Therefore, it literally means “Little Cub”, but its usage is not exclusive to the famed model.
“In Malaysia, the ‘kapcai’ is a killing machine that has caused a lot of deaths – at an average of 4,100 deaths a year over 12 years – and this is a loss in productivity to the country,” he said at the talk show.
“This is a huge loss to the country. Do we still want to have this kind of motorcycle on the road?”
Wan Agyl justified such a move based on how the latest statistics show that Malaysia is getting closer to Thailand as the most dangerous country for motorcyclists.
“This kind of motorcycle is light and easy to handle. So young kids use it in the rural areas, for going to school or to buy groceries. We need to think whether or not we want to maintain this type of motorcycle or slowly phase it out,”
“Can we think about maybe phasing out ‘kapcai’ motorcycles altogether?” he said. “That’s the biggest question that needs to be answered by politicians.”
For the record, a total of 79,916 motorcyclists and pillion riders met with fatal road accidents from 2001 to August 2021. Approximately 70.2 per cent of road deaths to August this year involved motorcycle users.
To date, 90 per cent of the 15.2 million motorcycles registered with the Road Transport Department (JPH) are ‘kapcai’ motorcycles.