I remember the time first when I wore my bicycle helmet and cycle to a friend's house, the first reaction was laughter thinking how ridiculous I looked or sor chai in our terms. Then tonight when I tried to convince a cycling buddy to buy a helmet, he took it as a fashion statement and said "the helmet so small, protect what?"
Then I realiased that all this happening because there lack of bicycle safety education in Malaysia! We have laws that required everyone to wear motorcycle helmets and so so often we witnessed motorcyclist in our neighbourhood disregarding them. Even the security guard patrolling the streets in my neighbourhood ignore the helmet, breaking the law to enforce the law? What is wrong with Malaysians or are their lives just that cheap? If you have noticed the latest wear a helmet advertisements on the media, it mentioned that most accidents involving motorcyclist happened near their home.
In 2005, there are 1,679 accidents involving bicycles, that's 3.57% of the total statistics, bear in mind these are reported accidents, usually involving police report, meaning heavy casualties or death. I remembered when I was on a bicycle got knock down by a van when I was a kid, there were no report made cause I was ok, imagine how many of these is not included?
So back to bicycle helmet, do we really need it. From what I have read so far, no, a bicycle helmet does not give you the type of protection you from a motorcycle helmet, if a car runs over your head with the helmet, it will still becomes crushed watermelon. But I look at it from this angle, it may not give me 100% protection, but it increase my chances of survival. The inner foam is designed to cushion the impact on the brain while the outer plastic is to make it skid so it does not jerk your neck! Just make sure your strap is on otherwise don't bother wearing one.
Here's a good link I found on bicycle helmet http://www.helmets.org/
In many countries like Australia, part of US, its already a law for bicycle helmets and I am very sure they are not doing because they have nothing better to do. Its sad that the mentality of Malaysian is no helmet is ok. Education should start young, if a kid does not learn the importance of a bicycle helmet, I think they wouldn't think motorcycle helmet is important too when they grow up. This is sadly what we have no experience when we are a kid, a bicycle helmet, never even seen one when I was cycling as a kid!!! First chance we got when riding the motorcycle in kampung, we take the damn helmet off! Nothing beats the wind through the hair, but we forgot how fragile a human is to falling :P
Based on Jack's request, here's my helmet and bike, so if you see a fei chai wearing a red helmet on a red bike in KK-Rimau, that's me!