Cabinet will decide on Gojek, other bike-hailing firms, says transport minister

A Gojek driver rides his motorcycle through a business district street in Jakarta June 9, 2015. — Reuters pic
A Gojek driver rides his motorcycle through a business district street in Jakarta June 9, 2015. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Malaysia is not shutting the door on motorcycle-sharing services, but their introduction will have to be a Cabinet decision.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke today confirmed that he, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, Gojek founder Nadiem Makarim and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had met to discuss the possibility that the Indonesia-based bike-hailing company might roll out the two-wheeled ride-hailing service in Malaysia.

“Yes, we had a meeting and I’ve heard their ideas. In principle, I won’t reject it although I have said before my concerns are the first-mile, last-mile connectivity issues,” Loke told reporters after launching the four-car trains for the KL Monorail here.

Loke was commenting after his Cabinet colleague Syed Saddiq said allowing Gojek to operate in Malaysia would help create more jobs and cut down on the “rempit” culture.

“I want to look at the ecosystem as a whole and find ways of improving our own public transportation system.

“I’d like more studies and research done on this and I also want to bring it to Cabinet to get their views as well before making a decision. However, as a dynamic government, I do not want to deny them the possibility of coming to Malaysia,” Loke said.

He clarified that his task as transport minister was to look after the safety of road users while Syed Saddiq’s job is to look after the youth and create jobs for them.

“Of course, we are part of the Cabinet and we work together and we share each other’s views but I think we need further studies and discussion.

“We are not going to inject any proposals yet, as besides safety, we need to check the operational aspects which must be done by our relevant agencies,” he added.

Syed Saddiq had noted that bike-sharing transport services were not new to Malaysia, pointing to local firm Dego Ride.

Loke pointed out that Dego was operating in Johor until it was banned by the then-ruling Barisan Nasional for doing so without government approval.

He added that if the government ever agreed to allow bike-sharing services, one company would not have monopoly of the market.

“It will be open for all and not only allowed for Gojek,” he said.

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