KUALA LUMPUR: The motorbike ride-hailing industry will not be monopolised by Indonesian company Go-Jek, says Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
The Youth and Sports Minister was responding to criticism that his ministry was pushing for the expansion of a foreign company rather than supporting the growth of homegrown startup Dego Ride, which was banned by the Transport Ministry in 2017.
“This is not just for Go-Jek. We forgot that we have one of the most talented Malaysians who ran Dego Ride in Johor, which employed thousands of motorists, ” Syed Saddiq said.
“The motorists enjoyed it, they were paid decently and Dego Ride was a good alternative medium of transportation.
“The difference (between Go-Jek and Dego Ride) is we want to get more investments in. The point is this will be implemented fairly for all, ” he said after attending the first sitting of the 32nd National Youth Consultative Council here on Tuesday (Aug 20).
Syed Saddiq added that the government would open up the market to allow competition and ensure all digital entrepreneurs benefit.
He stressed that the goal was to create employment for youths through this new industry.
Dego Ride, a motorcycle taxi service, was first declared illegal in January 2017.
In Sept 2018, Transport Minister Anthony Loke maintained that Dego Ride and such motorcycle taxi services would not be allowed due to safety concerns.
On Monday (Aug 19), Syed Saddiq brought Go-Jek founder Nadiem Makarim to meet with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Loke.
Syed Saddiq said the meeting was “exceptionally positive” and they discussed the Transport Ministry's safety concerns.
He said based on statistics, the vast majority of Malaysians are expected to use the service for last-mile connectivity between public transportation stations, while most accidents occurred on highways.
The Cabinet is expected to finalise its decision on Go-Jek on Wednesday (Aug 21).
Go-Jek is a logistics company based in Jakarta, Indonesia, where consumers can use their services through an app from a smartphone.
The Indonesian unicorn start-up has launched in Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, and has plans to expand to Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia.