KUALA LUMPUR: A taxi operator says he will campaign against the Pakatan Harapan government over its plans to allow motorcycle ride-hailing services in the country.
Big Blue Capital (M) Sdn Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said the proposal appeared to be aimed at fishing for young votes.
“But this is not the way. The government should find ways to create stable and well-paying jobs for youngsters instead of compelling them to earn meagre incomes and putting their lives and limbs at risk, as motorcycle accidents rank high on the fatality chart.
“Blacklisted taxi and e-hailing drivers may also opt for Gojek, thus putting potential customers at risk, ” he told a press conference Thursday (Aug 22).
Shamsubahrin claimed that taxi drivers would hit the campaign trail in a bid to change the government in the next general election if the current government turns a deaf ear to concerns over the risks of using motorcycles.
He was responding to the Cabinet’s decision to, in principle, allowing motorcyle taxi e-hailing services in Malaysia pending regulatory changes.
Shamsubahrin said this reflected Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's failure to champion the interest of the younger generation.
The minister had kicked off a storm after tweeting earlier this week that the government was interested in bringing in Indonesia’s Gojek.
This came despite the fact that the government had previously barred a homegrown startup, Dego Ride, from offering similar services.
Shamsubahrin noted that Transport Minister Anthony Loke had earlier expressed reservations against motorcycle ride-hailing services, citing safety concerns.
“The Dego app was developed by a Malaysian, but it was banned. What is the rationale of bringing an Indonesian-based company that offers similar service?
“Malaysia is a rich country with a good public transportation system.
“Why spend billions on MRT and LRT (systems), but in the end congest the city with motorcycles like cities in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia?” he said.
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