Taxi company boss threatens protest over Gojek

Big Blue Taxi Services founder Shamsubahrin Ismail says Gojek does not offer a promising future.

KUALA LUMPUR: Big Blue Taxi Services founder Shamsubahrin Ismail does not agree with the proposal to introduce motorcycle ride-hailing service Gojek.

He wants the government to focus instead on solving problems regarding e-hailing and taxi drivers first, warning that he would organise a protest if approval was given.

Shamsubahrin said it would be “a step backwards” if the government went ahead with the proposal.

“(Youth and Sports Minister) Syed Saddiq (Syed Abdul Rahman ) is an educated minister but while other ministers are talking about flying cars and third national cars, he is asking young people to become dispatchers.

“Gojek as a career will not ensure a promising future, our youths deserve better than that,” he said at a press conference at Big Blue Taxi Services headquarters at Wisma Central here today.

Yesterday, Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said the proposal to bring Gojek to Malaysia would be discussed by the Cabinet.

Loke said Syed Saddiq would table the proposal to the Cabinet and if the Cabinet agreed, his ministry would conduct a framework study.

Shamsubahrin said Malaysia was “totally different” from Indonesia in many respects. “Gojek can be done in Indonesia because their poverty rate is very high, unlike in Malaysia.

“Also, their culture is very different compared with ours. In Indonesia, their women can hug the rider (most of the riders are men) just like that but how about Malaysia? Do we want to see our women hugging the riders here and there?”

Gojek is an Indonesian home-grown giant rider-hailing business.

Shamsubahrin said the government should not encourage youths to provide the motorcycle ride-hailing service as their choice of earning their income. He said there were many other permanent jobs that could be offered to youths.

He said, “Gojek, FoodPanda, GrabFood all offer part-time jobs. Youths should instead be given better job opportunities.”

He warned that taxi drivers, e-hailing drivers and bus drivers would be affected if the government approved the motorcycle ride-hailing service.

“It will be a big mistake if the Cabinet agrees. This is not a threat but don’t think that PH’s popularity will increase or it can win the next general election,” he added.

Shamsubahrin said he would not hesitate to demonstrate if the government did not want to listen to their voices. “I will lead the protest myself, we will go to Putrajaya, and if possible, we will do it in front of Syed Saddiq’s house and Loke’s house.”