ICA officer dies on Malaysia's race circuit

ICA officer dies on Malaysia's race circuit
Riders on the Pasir Gudang circuit in Johor. This popular track for motorbike enthusiasts is where Mr Muhammad Hafiz Haron died in a crash on Wednesday.

Friends and family were streaming out of the Woodlands flat yesterday afternoon.

This, though, was not a happy occasion.

They had gathered at the five-room flat in Woodlands to visit the grieving family of the late Mr Muhammad Hafiz Haron.

Mr Hafiz, who was in his 30s, died after losing control of his motorbike at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang, Johor, on Wednesday.

The New Straits Times reported that Mr Hafiz, an officer with the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA), was riding his Suzuki GSX 600cc superbike when the crash occurred.

According to the report, he was on a practice run and was negotiating Turn 3 of the circuit when he lost control of the 200kg motorbike. No one else was involved.

Details of the crash are still unclear, but the news reported stated that Mr Hafiz suffered head and neck injuries and died at the scene.

When TNP approached his father, Mr Haron, at his flat yesterday afternoon, he declined to be interviewed. He was in a rush to return to Johor, he said.

"At this point we don't know anything," he said

MULTIPLE TURNS

Experienced rider Alex Owyong said he has got into his share of accidents riding the Pasir Gudang circuit, which has 12 turns and is 3.86km long.

The 29-year-old IT professional crashed and broke his right elbow at Turn 1 during a practice run there in December 2012.

Turn 3 can be tricky, he said. Mr Owyong, who rides at Pasir Gudang about twice a month, said: "Turn 3 is essentially a big U-turn.

"It can be especially difficult for the fast riders who exit Turn 2 at 170kmh and are left with little remaining tarmac to adjust their entry speed into Turn 3."

For Mr Hafiz's family, reality is still sinking in.

His elder brother, Mr Ismail Haron, 34, said: "We are still trying to process the lost.

"We just lost a beloved brother, who doted on his mother," he added, before excusing himself to return to his grieving family.

Johor Circuit, the organisation managing the circuit, could not be reached for comment.

maazman@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Oct 10, 2014.
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