We have all seen them: Swarms of leather-clad men on Harley-Davidsons running roughshod all over the island. Frequently, and mystifyingly, they have police escorts, as though their sheer size and thunderous movement is insufficient to clear the way ahead of them. At weekends and national holidays they take over Bali’s roads, shoving other users out of the way. Now they have gone too far.
As reported by his spokesman, Governor I Made Mangku Pastika’s car was involved in an altercation with a pack of big-bike riders at the weekend, in which they seemingly vented anger at the top Bali official’s vehicle for being in their way. Spokesman Putu Suardika said that although the governor’s car had moved to let the intimidating bunch pass, some among their group lashed out and attempted to strike the vehicle while hurling insults.
Such regrettable, bullying behaviour is often the mindset of those who have amassed enough wealth, through whatever means, to purchase these expensive luxury motorbikes that they use as a vanity item.
Along with an investigation into the incident – eight of the bikes have already been impounded – the governor must order the Bali Police to stop wasting the taxpayers’ money in escorting these wealthy riders around the island, and especially if unofficial compensation is passed to facilitate such deplorable revelry on our roads.
It has so far been revealed that such is the riders’ apparent distain for public order on our roads that they don’t even bother with properly taxing their vehicles, if at all, or hold the necessary license. It indeed appears indicative of their law-indifferent attitude.
And it’s further regrettable that while some responsible for the weekend tour have apologised in writing to Governor Pastika and issued mea culpas to him via the media, some in the riding group denied anything unruly took place at all, as though the governor is making it all up.
There is no place for such absurdity in the face of official statements, and there is no reason for the hell-raising play-antics of men with big bikes on Bali’s roads.Filed under: Editorial