PETALING JAYA: Addressing high unemployment among youths is the main reason that Malaysia should introduce the two-wheel ride-hailing service, according to Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
“Jobs, jobs, jobs,” was his WhatsApp response to theSun today when asked what had prompted him to push for the motorcycle commuter service.
Various quarters have criticised the government for its intention to allow the service, citing issues with safety and the ongoing spat between ride-hailing services and taxi drivers.
Others have argued that the government should, instead, help youths get higher income jobs.
The same proposal had been rejected twice, once under the Barisan Nasional government when Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was the Transport Minister.
In July last year, current Transport Minister Anthony Loke told the Dewan Rakyat that the government was “against any such service involving motorcycles”, citing the high accident rate among motorcyclists.
Two months later, when reports surfaced that a Malaysian company, Dego Ride, had launched its own ride-hailing service on motorbikes and was operating in the Klang Valley, Loke warned that action would be taken against the company if it continued to operate illegally.
“We will never legalise the service because we do not want any ride-sharing service on motorcycles. There are too many accidents involving motorbikes so we can’t take the risk,” he said.
However, at its weekly meeting on Wednesday, the Cabinet agreed in principle to allow the service, just days after Syed Saddiq mooted the idea.
He even took to Twitter to ask users if they agreed that the service should be introduced to help generate income for youths.
More than 56,000 people responded, with 88% giving the thumbs up.
Syed Saddiq said there was a need for a programme to help motorcyclists earn a more consistent income.