KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Cabinet will decide on introducing motorbike ride-hailing services this Wednesday (Aug 21), Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said.
This came after Mr Nadiem Makarim, the founder of Indonesia-based Go-Jek, had a meeting with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Monday.
On Twitter, Mr Syed Saddiq said motorbike ride-hailing would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for motorcyclists.
“It is not enough for the government to organise one-off programmes or to build race tracks.
“They want to be defended, they need jobs. That is a more pressing issue,” he said in a video.
Motorbike ride-hailing is not new to Malaysia, with a homegrown startup Dego Ride rolling out such a service in November 2016.
However, the Cabinet imposed a ban on the firm in February 2017, citing safety concerns.
The ban is still upheld by the present Pakatan Harapan government, which took over federal administration last year.
On Tuesday, Mr Syed Saddiq clarified that the motorbike ride-hailing industry will not be monopolised by Go-Jek.
“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,” he was quoted as saying by the Star.
“The motorists enjoyed it, they were paid decently and Dego Ride was a good alternative medium of transportation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Loke said the Transport Ministry would conduct a study on motorcycle ride-hailing if Mr Syed Saddiq’s proposal is approved by the Cabinet.
“Of course the youth minister is coming from the viewpoint of the youth and job creation. We are looking at it from the safety and operational aspects.
“His view will be considered, but we will have to look at the proposal more seriously,” he said, according to the Star.
Mr Loke also assured that the government would not allow any monopoly of the ride-hailing service.
“It has to be open to all and other private companies are welcome to operate ride-hailing service here,” he told reporters.