Kuala Lumpur, 24 February 2017 – The government should be more careful not to ban new and innovative services like Dego Ride when there is clearly a market for it, says the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).
Commenting on the recent proposed government ban and enforcement actions on motorcycle ride-sharing service Dego Ride, IDEAS Chief Executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said, “Not too long ago the Government tried to ban other ride sharing services such as GrabCar and Uber. But after listening to consumers and understanding the internal-controls that both companies had regarding safety, it chose to regulate the service instead. So why can’t the government skip the banning of Dego and instead study how to make the motorcycle ride-sharing service safe for consumers?”
“As opposed to a ban, the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) can take measures to ensure the safety of consumers. In Grab and Uber’s case drivers had to have a valid licence to become drivers and their vehicles have to be checked periodically by Puspakom. The government may also be tabling regulations on ride-sharing services. Dego Ride should just be included in this regulation.”
“We can also learn from the experience of other Asean countries that have motorcycle taxis in terms of how they manage safety and the types of regulations that they have in place. But we should not stifle innovation nor should we reduce consumer choice. Dego Ride could potentially create additional income for motorcyclists, especially those from the lower income group. The number of people with a motorcycle licence in Malaysia is estimated to be over two million.”
“Besides, the service gives options to people who cannot afford more expensive forms of public transportation. Although, we have buses, the LRT and KTM, we should still allow alternatives for consumers at all levels. In other Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines motorcycle taxis are a common alternative to taxis and other forms of public transport. They are a lot cheaper which is important for people who cannot afford taxis and they could be extremely convenient in traffic heavy cities of Malaysia. I urge the Government to consider regulation rather than banning the service,” concluded Wan Saiful.