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Experts warn of motorcycle ride-hailing risks

The Indonesia-headquartered motorcycle taxi company, Gojek

Ahirul Ahirudin
Written by Ahirul Ahirudin

KUALA LUMPUR – August 21, 2019: The possible introduction of motorcycle ride-hailing service Gojek as recently mooted by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has received a mixed response  in cyberspace.

Despite the noticeably high number of positive responses, two automotive experts were against the idea and labelled it as dangerous and unfit for Malaysian roads.

Hezeri Shamsuri of careta.my said Syed Saddiq may had been fed with inaccurate facts on the matter by his advisors.

“Malaysia is third among the Asean countries with highest rate of lethal accidents, and over 60 per cent of that figure was contributed by motorcycle accidents.

“His (Syed Saddiq) suggestion to increase motorcycle usage will definitely increase the risk of death on the road,” wrote Hezeri in the automotive website Careta.

“I feel that the minister’s intention is sincere, but it is not uncommon for youngsters to be hasty,” added Hezeri.

Yamin Vong of motorme.my echoed Hezeri’s opinion in an interview with The Mole, citing safety as the biggest concern should ride-hailing be introduced in Malaysia.

“The motorcycle traffic culture of Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Klang Valley is so different from Bangkok and Jakarta.

“Dego Ride (a homegrown ride-hailing startup) was banned in 2017 because KL bikers travel at significantly higher speeds. It’s purely a safety issue. Also, bikers are banned from toll highways there but not here,” said Yamin.

Meanwhile, there was also the contention that the government should have included the local Dego Ride for the potential service instead of pushing for the expansion of the  Indonesian-based Gojek.

Nedumaran on Twitter, lamented how Dego Ride was killed off by the government for safety and insurance reasons but the government is now trying to introduce Go-Jek, a foreign company with almost similar business model.

“The message here is Malaysia First. We can’t ignore the fact that we have local capabilities and proven tech champions, yet we are going to lead with a foreign giant.

“Once the giant Gojek comes in with their capability to scale up quickly, will there still be space for local corporations?” questioned Nedumaran.

His thread in Twitter has garnered more than 2,300 retweets (shares) and over 1,700 likes.

Dego Ride was declared illegal in January 2017 by the then Barisan Nasional government and in September last year, Transport Minister Anthony Loke maintained that the company or other motorcycle ride-hailing service providers will never be legalised due to safety concerns.

However, Loke changed his stance yesterday when he said that Malaysia would not be shutting the door on ride-hailing and the Cabinet will decide on its introduction. 

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Ahirul Ahirudin

Ahirul Ahirudin