Big Blue Taxi boss says sorry for calling Indonesians poor

Big Blue Taxi Services founder Shamsubahrin Ismail.

PETALING JAYA: The boss of a Malaysian taxi company today apologised to Indonesians for calling them poor in a video clip which triggered outrage in the republic.

In a press conference today, Big Blue Taxi Services founder Shamsubahrin Ismail also said his remarks were not based on wild assumptions but on media reports about Indonesia’s economy.

“Indonesians are close to my heart. It never crossed my mind to insult them.

“I apologise to all Indonesians for calling them poor,” he said.

Shamsubahrin had reportedly said that motorcycle ride-hailing service Gojek was for the poor like in Jakarta, Thailand, India and Cambodia.

His remark was said to have sparked outrage among Indonesian Gojek riders who reportedly demanded an apology and threatened to demonstrate over the matter at the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.

He said today that he had received many messages from Indonesians on social media which he had responded to.

However, he maintained his stand that Gojek is not suitable for Malaysia, and that there is no need for motorcycle ride-hailing services as the existing public transport situation is good compared to that of other Asean countries.