Govt will help push local player Dego Ride too, says Syed Saddiq

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman says the government will also assist to push Dego Ride, after the green light was given to Gojek to enter into Malaysia’s motorcycle e-hailing industry.

“We must also assist our local industry, in particular.

“The fact that Dego Ride was pushed aside before this is one of the biggest reasons why we are doing this now.

“I heard today that Dego Ride is very interested and has already started planning. I think this is a very good sign,” he told reporters when asked if the government would allow Dego Ride to operate.

He said no one should hold a monopoly over this, adding that he wanted Dego Ride, Gojek, GrabBike and others to compete.

“I want to ensure that local users are the ones that benefit from it the most,” he added.

Recently, the Cabinet had agreed to introduce the motorcycle ride-hailing service in Malaysia. The transport ministry has been given a month to come up with the regulations, with importance given to the safety of passengers and insurance coverage.

Gojek is an Indonesian home-grown giant in the ride-hailing business which also operates in other Asean countries.

Dego Ride is Malaysia’s first motorcycle ride-hailing service. Its founder, Nabil Feisal Bamadhaj, told FMT he hoped the government would prioritise local players to help them carve a name for themselves.

In 2017, the government banned the Dego Ride motorcycle taxi service over safety concerns over the motorcyclists and passengers riding pillion.

Last year, Loke had said Putrajaya did not intend to legalise motorcycle ride-hailing services over these safety concerns.

The ministry said the likelihood of motorcyclists being involved in fatal accidents was 42.5 times higher than that for buses and 16 times higher than that for cars.

On the matter of safety for women passengers riding Gojek, Syed Saddiq said certain safety standards will be introduced.

“It is best for the transport ministry to explain this.

“For example, if we look at other countries, there is a pink motorcycle version for women.”

On a separate issue, Syed Saddiq defended the recent appointment of 13 new officers in his ministry, all from PPBM Youth.

“There are more than 4,000 officers in my ministry. It is impossible for me to know all their political inclinations.

“I don’t have control over all of them. Some staff members may be from Umno or PAS, but I don’t take any action against them for this.”