Put customer safety first in bike e-hailing, says group

Dego Rider Prengkiwijaya Masyadi checks his phone for customers at the company’s headquarters at Taman Melawati in Kuala Lumpur. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The safety and protection of public transport customers must be top of the government’s priorities, a transport customers’ assocation said today following a call by a taxi association for Dego Ride motorcycle e-hailing riders to get a PSV licence.

Ajit Johl, president of the Public Transport Users Association (4PAM), said Putrajaya cannot contravene existing laws just for the sake of creating employment opportunities.

“Rules and regulations are there to ensure safety and protection. A company can’t just start offering services and break all laws, that’s wrong,” he said.

Ajit made reference to youth minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who is a proponent of the Dego Ride service.

“While Syed Saddiq is trying to promote the gig economy, he cannot be in a position to flout laws. That’s completely wrong,” Ajit said.

“What happens if an accident occurs, is Syed Saddiq going to be responsible? Is the government going to be responsible? That’s why safety cannot be compromised at any cost,” he told FMT.

Syed Saddiq said the Dego Ride service could create 5,000 job opportunities for youths in the B40 group, with a potential income of between RM1,500 and RM3,000.

Taxi operators group Gabungan Teksi SeMalaysia (GTSM) has urged Putrajaya to make it mandatory for Dego Ride riders to get a public service vehicle (PSV) licence.

GTSM president Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain said riders should be subject to the same criteria set for other e-hailing services such as Grab, to show that Putrajaya enforces the law fairly.

Umno Youth strategic director Wan Agyl Wan Hassan supported Kamaruddin’s call, saying the PSV licence certified that riders had the required skill set to ferry and entertain passengers.

Wan Agyl, a former head of policy and planning of the Land Public Transport Commission operation group, said the PSV license requirement for motorcycle e-hailing needed to be designed according to the industry.

“E-hailing services are the closest comparison we can refer to and now they need to go through the same process and comply with the same rules and regulations like taxi services—especially the PSV requirements.

“I don’t see the cabbies request as absurd,” he added.

He told FMT that there were currently no rules and regulations set for the motorcycle e-hailing industry, stressing that it was necessary for passengers’ safety.

“Today I believe there is no insurance for bike hailing services and I assume the insurance association will need to know how risky this service can be which includes the provider’s readiness to deliver the service.”

Dego Ride founder Nabil Feisal Bamadhaj said the company was currently in a six-month proof of concept period.

He invited all relevant agencies and government bodies “to collect as much information from us with regards to this period” for a new system to be set up. He did not rule out a requirement of “a more cost effective PSV” licence.

The e-hailing motorcycle service is available in the Klang Valley, with expansion to other states within three months.

Around 4,000 people have applied to become riders, of whom 100 are women.

The Grab e-hailing service is also reported to have begun offering a motorcycle e-hailing service, for customers around KLCC, Chow Kit and Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur.