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The RM185.07mil contract awarded to Heitech Padu Bhd for MySikap was through open tender, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

The contract is for the maintenance of the Road Transport Department’s (JPJ) MySikap website. It was awarded to the said company as their bid was the lowest and most reasonable.

Anthony Loke said a submission awarding the three-year contract to the firm for the amount was sent to the Finance Ministry and was approved by the Treasury on Feb 2. The letter of acceptance was issued by JPJ to Heitech Padu on April 5.

He dismissed claims that the contract was given to the company as one of its major shareholders is Farhash Wafa Salvador, who is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s former political secretary.

Loke said Farhash had acquired 15.9% of the firm’s shares only on March 16 this year. “This means he acquired the shares after the contract was awarded to the company on Feb 2 and not before it secured the project.

“As emphasised by the Prime Minister, after Farhash acquired the shares in the company, there has been no other government contract offered to Heitech Padu till this day,” he said in a press conference at the Transport Ministry here yesterday.

Loke said Anwar and the Cabinet viewed very seriously the insinuations by certain parties that the contract was awarded to Heitech Padu due to the prime minister’s close ties with Farhash.

“Farhash is no longer with the government and is not serving the government in any capacity.

“If there are parties who are still dissatisfied with this clarification, the Prime Minister welcomes them to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for a thorough investigation,’’ he added.

Loke disclosed that two other companies that met the technical and financial prerequisites had also vied for the contract with bids of RM186.8mil and RM199.5mil. He said the ceiling price for the contract was RM207.3mil.

The contract was for a three-year term as it is deemed a new contract, instead of an extension.

“Usually, maintenance contracts are long term. This is a new contract and not an extension of contract. If it is an extension then it will be on a year-to-year basis,” he said.

The contract comprised two job scopes, namely MySikap and Mainframe. MySikap was an online platform offering various services such as vehicle registration, road tax and driving licence renewals, while Mainframe provided servers to store data from MySikap.

In March 2023, JPJ decided to merge both components to a single tender and for it to be overseen by a single company for more effective monitoring and management.

The Minister of Economy, Rafizi Ramli stated that the reduction of fuel subsidies will begin this year.

He said the move is to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit in an interview with Bloomberg last Tuesday.

He also said the move was needed to “manage the sequence” of subsidy cuts, given the risk of inflation rising before the cuts are implemented. Since last year, Rafizi said he wanted to implement the RON95 subsidy program which was targeted in the second half of 2024 so that it would be delivered to those who needed it. For now, the T20 group is taking the opportunity to receive 53 percent of the existing oil subsidy system.

Of the RM81 billion subsidy budget for 2023, the subsidy for RON95 petrol has taken up a large portion of it.

During the interview, he said the government plans to reduce the budget deficit to 4.3 percent of gross domestic product this year, up from 5 percent in 2023.

“To achieve the fiscal target of 4.3 percent, certain timelines need to be adhered to,” said the Pandan Member of Parliament.

Our opinion is that the government must have a mechanism to reduce the impact of fuel price increases in the future because there will be parties who take the opportunity to increase the prices of other goods. Withdrawal of subsidies from those who do not need it is a good move but it must be done carefully so that the less fortunate are not affected.

Ducati to use Thailand one of their export hubs. The decision follows the opening their first and new Asian production factory in Rayong.

The 400-million-baht plant has the production capacity of 10,000 units per year in the first phase.

Chief Executive of Ducati Motor Holding, Claudio Domenicali said, “Thailand is an important market for premium motorcycles, or big bikes, and we want to make Thailand our export base.”

“We produce every model of Ducati motorcycles at our plant in Rayong. We ensure the products meet high standards set by the parent firm in Italy,” he added.

The factory will be overseen by Ducati Motor Thailand and will supply the Asia-Pacific market. China was once Ducati’s key market but has seen sales slide due to an economic downturn.

Ducati sold a nearly 58,000 motorcycles last year but have yet to set a sales target for 2024. The sales volume will be determined by demand growth and market sentiments, said Mr Domenicali.

Nevertheless, sales of large capacity motorcycles in Thailand is set to increase.

Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and spokesman for the FTI’s Automotive Industry Club, expects sales of big bikes (motorcycles above 400cc) to hit 15,000 units this year. He also said that production will also increase to supply both domestic and international markets.

Production of all types of motorcycles in Thailand rose by 5.2% year-on-year to 2.12 million units in 2023, with 1.7 million of them for export, according to the Thai Automotive Industry.

Thailand is already the hotbed for several major automotive and motorcycle manufactures including BMW, Honda, Kawasasi, Suzuki, and Yamaha.

In an interview with Triumph during a visit, we found out that the decision to set up these manufacturing facilities in Thailand is not due to labour costs, which is in fact higher than at neighbouring countries. Instead it is due to the automotive supply infrastructure in place at Rayong.

Source: Bangkok Post

The Insta360 X4 has been launched and boasts 8K video recording, among other great features.

The Insta360 action camera is one of the most popular ever since its launch, allowing users to open up a 360-degree dimension of recording their exploits, from motorcyclists and powersports to just about any sports.

As the title says, it now shoots up to 8K30fps resolution, and you could also shoot slo-mo videos at 4K100fps. Apart from that, the Insta360 X4 supports Cardo, Sena, or other Bluetooth communicators for voice control. Think about motovlogging without an extra microphone or cable.

The unit is, of course, waterproof up to 33 feet without a waterproof case. In any case, the company offers regular and premium lens guards.

They have also upped the battery life, too, claiming that it now lasts up to 135 minutes in Video Mode at 5.7K30fps. Recording in 8K30fps yields 75 minutes.

A bigger battery brings the weight to 203 grams, up 23 grams from the X3.

 

Other motorcycle-oriented features include an Auto Dash Mode that begins recording as soon as you start riding. Loop Recording records continuously over a predetermined length and overwrites the files, perfect for everyday riding.

There’s also a new Motion ND mode in both the app and the desktop Insta360 Studio program so you can get that cool motion blur effect on your shots with no extra filters required.

The Insta360 X4 can be paired with both Garmin and Apple watches so you can add data and/or overlays to your recordings.

If you like using a wired connection from your action camera to your Android or iOS devices, please note that the X4 only supports wired connections for Android. However, wireless support is available for both devices.

 

Road congestion especially during the festive season is due to the insufficient length of the existing roads to accommodate the large number of vehicles, said Traffic and Road Safety Psychologist, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Prof. Dr Rozmi Ismail. He also said that many other roads (not highways) only have one lane.

“If something like an accident happens, road users have nowhere to ‘run’ and they will be stuck with the congestion. They have to deal with it.

“Then, in most cities or towns, the roads are being repaired. For example in Gua Musang. It adds to the large number of vehicles causing further congestion,” he added.

He commented on the complaints of road users who had to travel for more than 10 hours when returning to the capital after celebrating Aidilfitri last year.

Apart from that, he also touched on the toll payment method and suggested that there are more effective payment systems. “For example, the user has already paid before going to a certain place. Say I want to go to Penang, I have already paid. This is to avoid these vehicles lining up at the toll plaza. That queue causes congestion too.”

Our comments:

Prof.’s summary Dr. Romzi is very good but there is another reason why the roads in Malaysia are getting more congested: The huge increase of new vehicles every day, month, and year. For example, almost 800,000 new vehicles were registered last year alone. The total length of roads in our country, including highways and paved and unpaved roads is 290,099 kilometers. But at the same time, there are 36.3 million active vehicles. That means there are 125 vehicles per kilometer.

The addition of roads and highways will not be able to accommodate the number of vehicles at any time, not to mention the construction of each highway takes a long time to complete. The construction project also adds to traffic congestion.

A total of 62.6 million motorcycles were sold globally in 2023.

It represents the second best record after 2018. The sales volume also represents a 2.7% increase from 2022, and the third year of continuous growth after seeing a sharp decrease in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once again, it was the Asian market that drove the increase.

India contributed the highest number of sales, and an increase of 9.1% among their local manufacturers TVS Motor, Royal Enfield, Bajaj Auto, and Hero. Several other non-Indian brands are also present in the country through partnerships with the local manufactures such as BMW, Triumph, Norton, KTM, et al.

The second biggest market was, no surprise, Indonesia which grew by another 20.2% despite already having the highest number of motorcycles there.

Although these markets grew, several Asian countries showed downturns, as well. Sales dropped in China by -2.4%, Vietnam by -18.1%, and Pakistan a huge -32.7%.

Other growing global markets included Brazil by 21.3%, who ranked 7th globally and the largest in Latin America motorcycle market. Turkey saw an astounding 117.9% growth, moving it to 11th place in the world.

The data was collated by MotorCycles Data who track sales in more than 90 countries. They track actual deliveries to buyers rather than from manufacturers who claim their sales to their dealers.

In a story that warms every Malaysian’s heart, Chinese villagers repaired a road in the middle of the night to help Aidilfitri travellers as they drive home.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is fun, but it also marks the occasion when millions of vehicles flood the highways as Malaysians travel to their hometowns and back. The already busy highways will be so choked with vehicles that some motorists look for alternative routes. However, some of these are not B-roads, but off-road paths.

Such was the case in this story, when Zairul Annuar wanted to avoid a traffic standstill on the PLUS highway heading to Kuala Lumpur. He decided to exit at Gopeng to take the inner roads, only to find that road had a massive traffic jam in Ladang Bikam.

He then decided to follow a reroute suggested by Google Map, albeit an unpaved trail for an oil palm estate.

“Slowly, we continued our journey. Suddenly, a few cars from the opposite direction can be seen, who then stopped beside us to inform us that the road ahead was impassable.”

“They directed us to turn back. All of the cars behind us were instructed to do the same.”

He then did so but as his car re-entered the residential area, Zairul wasstopped by a group of middle-aged Chinese men living there.


They then asked Zairul if he and his family were heading to Kuala Lumpur and urged them to not turn back as they would be stuck in a traffic jam.

Instead, the Chinese villagers said that they would repair the blocked road so that cars could pass through. The group of middle-aged Chinese men said to Zairul. The conversion can be heard in Zairul’s video, “The road ahead of you is blocked, right? Don’t worry. We’ll bring a backhoe to repair that road. You wait a moment.”

Zairul then said that the neighbourhood turned out to be a Chinese residential area and that the residents collectively agreed to help facilitate the passage of vehicles through the neighbourhood.

The villagers banded together and used a backhoe to level out the road for strangers to use.

In the video of travelling through the trail (colloquially called ‘jalan tikus’), a backhoe could be seen by the roadside after it was used to level out the road so that normal cars could pass through, as only 4x4s could do so before due to an incline.

Touched by the Chinese villagers’ action of going out of their way to help strangers on Aidilfitri, Zairul heaped praises on them, saying, “They came out of their homes and worked together. The people of Perak are amazing. Powerful. This is the true spirit of Malaysia.”

A total of 116 deaths due to road accidents were recorded during the three days of the Songkran festival in Thailand. The death toll on Saturday alone reached 48 cases, while 411 injuries were reported. The number of those injured reached 968 in the same period.

A total of 936 road accident cases were reported. 40.05 percent of them were caused by speeding, 27.81 percent were due to drunk driving, and another 16.85 percent were due to overtaking other vehicles.

A total of 85.5 percent of accidents involved motorcycles. The majority of accidents were not due to winding roads or bad conditions, instead 81.63 percent occured on straight roads.

Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla provinces recorded the highest number of road accidents in three days with 19 cases each.

The city of Bangkok recorded the highest number of deaths in the same period which was 8 deaths, while Songkhla recorded 45 cases of injuries.

The Director General of the Civil Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, Chaiwat Chuntirapong, said officials are adjusting prevention measures to suit the reality on the ground.

The focus is on secondary roads and communities, where motorcyclists tend to speed without helmets and after consuming alcohol.

We know many motorcyclists and drivers from Malaysia who like to go to Thailand for the Songkran festival and for recreation, but do hope that you ride and carefully when there. Also, the report mentioned the consumption of alcohol but did not include the consumption of the legalised  marijuana. There may be cases involving it but not reported. Regardless, the Thai government will withdraw the legalization of cannabis at the end of this year.

Maverick Viñales created a new history when he won at an epic Grand Prix of the Americas MotoGP race at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) this morning.

Viñales had become the only rider in the championship to ever win with three different manufacturers, namely Aprilia, Yamaha, and Suzuki. Such a record had eluded even Valentino Rossi who achieved wins with Honda and Yamaha.

The Aprilia rider had started from pole position, followed by the teenage sensation Pedro Acosta on the GasGas, and Jorge Martin on the Pramac Ducati. However, Vinales was beaten to the first corner by a quick starting Acosta, followed by Martin, defending champion and Ducati factory rider Francesco Bagnaia and his teammate Enea Bastianini, Jack Miller of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and seven-time winner at COTA Marc Marquez on his Gresini Ducati. The chaotic battle for the first turn shuffled Viñales back to 11th at the end of the first lap.

As Acosta took over the lead for the first time in his MotoGP career, there began a series of thrilling overtakes among the leading group. However, Acosta had chosen the less grippy medium compound rear tyre compared to the Ducati riders on the soft option, thus he had to yield to Martin who took off into the distance.

On the other hand, Marquez knew he had to make a move before Martin checks out so he began to up his aggression, which saw Miller bumping into him and taking away the Ducati’s front left aerobody.

While the camera focused solely on this leading group, Viñales was making his way forward in a take-no-prisoner manner, dispatching rider after rider.

Up front, just before mid-race, Martin’s rear tyre began to deteriorate, allowing Acosta and the following Marquez to close the gap, and finally overtake Martin.

Marquez, eager to cement his place as the “King of COTA” flew past Acosta into the lead. Unfortunately, he locked up the front tyre just several turns later and crashed out of the race. He revealed later that he was having braking issues.

With Marquez gone, Acosta began putting in some quick and steady laps, once again pulling away from Martin, Bagnaia, and Bastianini.

But hold on, here comes Viñales on his Aprilia “Bat Bike” (he had dubbed himself “BatMav” over the weeked). Viñales overtook Acosta into the lead, prompting the latter to fight back, but Viñales had none of it and went back into the lead immediately after. It was during this time that he put in a series of blistering laps including the fastest ever race lap at COTA despite on being worn tyres. Acosta tried to go with him, and although he was the only other rider to lap in the 2m:02s bracket, Viñales put in 2m:02.5s laps, while Acosta could only manage 2m:02.9s.

So, BatMav held on to win the race and place in the history books. It was a stunning display over the weekend, as he had taken pole position, won the Sprint Race, and now the Main Race.

Acosta also made history as the youngest MotoGP rider to take back-to-back podiums.

Bastianini managed to pass Martin in a daring move at over 350km/h at the back straight to come home third. Martin was fourth and Bagnaia struggled with rear tyre chatter to fifth.

The next round is the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, Spain in two weeks’ time.

The driver of a car that hit and killed three Pakistani men while they were on their way to perform the Aidilfitri prayer, pleaded guilty to the charge of taking drugs.

The accused, Mohd Azizol Abdul Rasheed, 36, made the confession as soon as the charges were read before Magistrate T Ashvinii.

Based on the charge, the restaurant assistant was charged with using a dangerous drug, namely ganja, and was accused of committing an offence under Section 15(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (amended in 2003) read together with Section 38b (1) of the same act.

The accused can be fined a maximum of RM5,000 or imprisoned for a maximum of two years, if convicted.

The court then allowed a bail at RM3,000 with two sureties and the additional condition of reporting to a nearby station every two weeks.

The court also fixed June 5 as the re-call of the case for the submission of the pathology report.

The incident happened on the first Hari Raya Aidilfitri which caused three Pakistani men to die, while three others were seriously injured after being hit by a car driven by the suspect.

The identities of the three victims who died were identified as Zahir Nur Muhammad, 31; Shayan Mumtazali, 22 and Adil Noorullah, 33.

Three other injured individuals are Kamran Muhammad Wali, 26; Yasen Afzalsha, 19 and Salem Said Rasol, 23.

Meanwhile, four Pakistani men have been remanded for beating the driver of the car.

The matter was decided by the same Magistrate, T Ashvinii at the Teluk Intan Magistrate’s Court to allow further investigation to be carried out in accordance with Section 147 of the Penal Code.

The suspect aged 24 to 49 and working as oil palm laborers were arrested after the driver of the Proton Saga made a police report stating that he was injured in the head as a result of being beaten.

Earlier, Perak’s Hilir District Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner Ahmad Adnan Basri, reportedly said they were arrested after the police identified the suspect through a viral video on social media involving the car driver and the four men.

The BMW R18 has been enjoying successful sales numbers worldwide, if not in Malaysia, since its launch in 2020. However, is there going to be a more powerful BMW R18 in the works to rival the Ducati Diavel and Triumph Rocket 3?

All this talk began after the new BMW Motorrad CEO, Markus Flasch posted a teaser on his Instagram post. Flasch has said before that he is very enthusiastic about motorsports in a recent interview about whether the German automotive giant will enter MotoGP. And in the photo, we see him grinning about something under a cover, besides adding the caption “There is something big coming…”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Markus Flasch (@markusflasch)

Although there is not much we can derive from that photo, we can see than the bike’s rear wheel hub and swingarm. Firstly, the swingarm of the current R18 consists of welded steel sections. From Flasch’s post, we can see that the top run of the swingarm is boxed aluminium, while the bottom is a large steel tube bolted onto the hub. Apart from that, the angle of the universal joint of the driveshaft has a different angle.

As such, it shows an articulated (moving) hub akin to the GS series, rather than a fixed hub like the current R18’s.

Next, the rear wheel is different altogether and it appears to hold a much larger tyre. The Diavel and Rocket 3 are both wearing 240mm section tyres and this prototype BMW may seem so, too. As such, the engine needs a lot of torque and power to support that big shoe, hence will BMW hot-rod the R18’s engine?

BMW has some tinkering to do since the Diavel’s engine does 168hp, while Triumph moved the goal post by giving the Rocket 3 Storm 180hp. But BMW can surely do something.

We love race replica motorcycles. We love rare race replica motorcycles even more. We would probably go to extraordinary lengths to get one, even if means we have to eat nothing but tapioca for the rest of our lives. This kind of passion is difficult to understand for many but, one look at this Yamaha YZF-R1 Jonathan Rea Replica and you would understand why.

It commemorates Jonathan Rea’s move to Yamaha from Kawasaki. The six-time WSBK champion made the surprising move beginning this year’s season, after the 2021 champion Toprak Razgatlioglu vacated the spot. Rea must have seen the strengths of the R1 in Toprak’s hands when it beat him that season.

The Yamaha YZF-R1 Jonathan Rea Replica is not just some fancy paint job you can get at the shop around the corner. There are so many performance goodies underneath. These include an Akrapovic exhaust system, Marchesini forged-aluminum wheels, Öhlins TTX fork cartridge kit, Öhlins NIX rear shock, and an adjustable steering damper.

You may also upgrade the front brakes to racing Brembo GP4RX calipers and T-Drive discs, for an additional price, of course. Another option is the Garage Pack which includes GYTR front and rear stands, a bike mat, and a custom Jonathan Rea bike cover.

Crescent Yamaha says that the Yamaha YZF-R1 Jonathan Rea Replica is available for worldwide shipping. There are only 65 of these that will be made, corresponding to Rea’s race number. You just need £29,995 and it will be yours. Oh, it is offered in the stealthy Winter Test colours, too.

Another thing that makes this replica super special is because 2024 is the last year of road production for the Yamaha YZF-R1.

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