Walski knows he's probably gonna get some flak for this, but what the heck... this one was too difficult to resist.
Anyone who took a gander at the front page of today's issue of The Star would've seen the picture above. Walski simply couldn't resist... Kelantan's very own brand of bikers... the Hells Turbans.
Personally, Walski is of the opinion that we shouldn't be legislated to don a crash helmet. Yes, it's the safe thing to do, and any biker in their right mind would agree that wearing a helmet can make a difference between surviving an accident, or not. But we shouldn't be forced to do it.
Personal safety should be a matter of personal choice. Nevermind if the UK or Singapore legislates it. It's not legislated (as far as Walski knows) in Thailand, for example. Instead, they have a law which states that bigger a vehicle is, the more it bears the onus of ensuring safety - which is probably a more intelligent way to go about it. Not sure about Indonesia or the Philippines - but Walski reckons the reasoning is the likely same.
Here in Malaysia, however, there is legislation to force motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Not that everyone follows it... Then again, ours is a nanny government, which is no big secret. There's way, way too much legislation over personal matters, in Walski's opinion - what to wear when riding a motorbike being one of them.
Apparently, there's also legislation prohibiting oral sex! Enforcement of this law, however, is another matter altogether... in fact, how the fuck do you enforce a prohibition against oral sex?
(prohibitions, more prohibitions, and then some, in the full post)
Which is probably where the moral police come in, Walski supposes. Or in his terminology, snoop squads - merrily invading your privacy to uphold supposed high-horse moral standards. But that's a totally different topic, and Walski, once again digresses off on a tangent...
Now, this latest hoo-ha surrounding the helmet ruling stems from the fact that certain people are of the opinion that the Islamic turban is a requirement of peity. And being pious is more important than personal safety, since the turban probably has divine protection associated with it. Not a very intelligent stand, if you were to ask Walski, but hey... it's their coconut, and entirely their right to un-protect, if they so wish.
According to the article in The Star today (from where Walski snagged the picture above - emphasis by myAsylum):
The confusion arose on Tuesday after Pasir Tumboh religious school student Ahmad Nasir Darus, 27, challenged a traffic summons issued for not wearing a crash helmet on Sept 20 last year in the magistrate's court.
His counsel Ahmad Rizal Effende Zainol cited a clause stating exemptions accorded to motorcyclists which covers those who are classified as “Haji, Hajjah, Lebai and Singh.”
Ahmad Rizal argued that motorcyclists wearing serban could be described as lebai (pious man).
(source: The Star)
Now, so far, Walski has never seen a "Hajjah" wear a turban to escape wearing a helmet. But he definitely has, however, seen a female Sikh person wear one, while riding pillion. Too bad he doesn't have a picture to show you, but he's definitely seen this happen at some point in the past.
As mentioned earlier, personal safety shouldn't be legislated - it's not the responsibility of the state to ensure that individuals take care of their own safety. Unless, of course, in matters where individual behavior endangers the lives of others.
Not wearing a helmet endangers the rider's own life, and not the lives of others. Same thing with seat belts. It should not be something that needs to be legislated.
In the meantime, we'll just have to see how this particular case turns out - fighting for the right to not practice personal safety, on the part of these Kelantanese students.
After all, it's not like their refusal is gonna potentially hurt anyone else... just their own selves.
Walski's borrowed name (and then some) footnote: The title of the post, of course, comes from Hells Angels, the renowned international bikers club. For the record, Walski personally wears his seat belt whenever he drives, and insists that his passengers do the same. If he knew how to ride a bike, he would put a helmet on, too. He believes in his own personal safety. With the emphasis on the personal part, if you catch his drift...