Many Singaporeans love to go for a weekend-trip or even day-trip in Malaysia, frequently citing the convenience of distance and how cheap things are compared to Singapore. While many of us may opt to travel into Johor Bahru by public buses, some prefer to ride their motorcycles into Malaysia so that there’s a shorter waiting time at the causeway.
Yet, many motorcyclists also know that they are exposed to the risk of motorcycle theft in Malaysia. Indeed, even if vehicle thefts in Malaysia have decreased in the past years, they are still relatively high compared to the safety of Singapore. For instance, there were around 20,000 vehicle thefts recorded in Malaysia in 2016, compared to just 1,100 in Singapore.
A quick search on motorbike forums in Singapore showed that it’s a common predicament amongst riders who parked their motorcycles in public carparks in Johor Bahru – bikes are stolen despite being installed with an alarm and locked. Favourite areas of these bike thieves seem to be also places where Singaporeans frequent – KSL Mall, Sutera Mall and Jalan Sentosa. The safest way of prevention seems to be to not ride your bike in then.
There are others who have ridden their motorbikes in and have been safe; what are their secrets to preventing motorbike theft? Here are a few ways, and what you need to do if your motorbike is stolen in Malaysia.
Always lock your bike
Even if you are in a private carpark, always lock your motorbike, and we don’t mean with just a single padlock. A disc lock is probably the most basic, but determined thieves can easily hoist a bike into a waiting lorry. It’s best to use two or more locks of different types in addition to your bike’s built-in lock. Also, use good quality locks – alarmed disc locks, steel-made U-locks and asymmetrical chains would probably deter a thief more than a single padlock that can be broken easily.
Add a cable
Adding a cable or a chain that allows you to anchor your bike to something solid, like a railing can deter a bike thief more than just locks.
Cover it up
It is well-known that certain brands and make of motorbikes are more targeted than the rest, so adding a canvas cover can at least, make it more difficult for thieves to identify your bike.
Park your bike with a trusted shop
If there are certain shops you frequently visit on your trips to Malaysia, such as car wash or food outlets, it might be worth it to park your bike around their shops and even pay them a small fee to look after your bike for you. It’s on your own risk though, but it might be safer compared to an unmanned public carpark.
Alarm the thieves
After locks, using a good alarm system for your bike is an absolute must. It will at least draw attention to their criminal activity and will hopefully alert you if you are near enough.
While it’s definitely not easy to prevent motorcycle theft, the above steps should hopefully make your bike a harder steal and deter the thieves.
What to do if your motorcycle is stolen in Malaysia
Here are the steps to follow to report the theft, as well as to claim your insurance:
- Make a police report in Malaysia
- Make a police report in Singapore
- Inform your motorcycle insurance company
- Inform your finance company if your bike is on instalment payments
- Inform the Land Transport Authority
For your insurance claim, you’d need to furnish the following information/documents:
- Accident report
- Police report
- Documents supporting your claim
- Names and particulars of witnesses
You need to understand that the police in Malaysia and Singapore do not have links so you’d need to follow up with the police. There is a minimum waiting period on the Malaysia side where they try to locate the stolen bike. After the waiting period, you’ll need to call the police officer-in-charge and collect a letter stating that the bike was not found. Use this letter and send a copy to all related department, including your insurance company, the LTA, as well as your bike shop if your bike is still under an instalment plan.
The reason for informing LTA is to all you to claim the COE rebate and pro-rated road tax. The bike will also be deregistered automatically, which means you will no longer receive any inspection letter or road tax from LTA.
With DirectAsia, we aim to make the claims process as easy and smooth as possible. Within one working day, you’ll be assigned a personal Claims Specialist. You’ll have the ability to contact them directly throughout your claim.
While you cannot predict a motorbike theft, you can secure your beloved bike by getting a comprehensive motorcycle insurance that insures you against theft. Our motorcycle insurance covers you where your motorcycle is registered in Singapore and is being driven in Singapore, West Malaysia and Southern Thailand.
What are you waiting for? Ask for a quote today and have peace of mind when ride your motorbike across the Straits to Malaysia the next time!