PETALING JAYA: The government should concentrate on improving public transport in the country, rather than allowing the entry of motorcycle e-hailing, says MCA Youth.
"To this day, the e-hailing service (for private cars) in Malaysia remains in disarray – proof of the government’s inability to resolve problems," said Nicole Wong Siaw Ting, MCA Youth national chairperson in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 21).
"Once motorcycle e-hailing services enter the fray, it will undoubtedly exacerbate the existing issues in the convoluted transport framework, or even add to the death toll," she said.
"In the past, the (Barisan Nasional) government decided against motorcycle-sharing services to put road safety first, considering motorcycles remain on top of the list of vehicles accidents and mortality rates.
"However, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Transport Minister Anthony Loke seem oblivious to these facts, and instead regard positively the proposal for Indonesian-based motorcycle e-hailing service Gojek to operate in Malaysia.
"It would appear that these two ministers have missed the forest for the trees, as their efforts to woo a small group of people potentially puts public safety and well-being at risk," she said.
Wong argued that Loke already had his hands full dealing with problems from existing car-based e-hailing services.
"If motorcycle e-hailing services are brought into the picture, it will only serve to highlight the Transport Minister’s shortcomings and ignorance," said Wong, who cited Ops Selamat 14 statistics to back her case.
"Within 15 days around this year's Chinese New Year, the number of road accidents totalled 20,829, with 197 of them resulting in 216 deaths.
"According to the Statistics Department, transport accidents take the fourth spot for the national cause of death, whereby 6,740 people died in transport accidents in 2017, with the majority (64.5%) of them being motorcyclists."
She added that the ministers should instead prioritise the improvement of existing public transport service and infrastructure, as this would undoubtedly benefit more people.
"By pushing for employment opportunities for motorcyclists, such haphazard plans may result in greater number of road fatalities.
"Hence, before these two ministries bring this proposal for further discussion in the Cabinet, issues relating to motorcycles should first be thoroughly studied."