The call to introduce electric bicycles in the country is now being studied at a rather aggressive pace – as part of that exercise, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) is inviting members of the public and industry to give their written views, comments and feedbacks on whether and how electric bicycles should be regulated in Malaysia.

The feedback, MIROS says, will be useful for the study that it is currently conducting in order to make proposals on how to regulate the use of electric bicycles. In many countries, e-bikes are classified as bicycles rather than motor vehicles, and so are defined separately and looked at as a specific vehicle type in many areas of legal jurisdiction.

It’s all part of a greater effort by the Government to look at the e-bike issue in depth. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha has said that aside from MIROS, various agencies including the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Road Transport Department, Road Safety Department Malaysia are part of the study; public feedback will also be taken into consideration in formulating the regulations.

The findings from the study will be submitted to the cabinet for a final decision. In a statement issued last week, Kong said that the electric bicycle will be accepted as a bicycle and the regulations governing it will not be very complicated, but will follow international standards. He added that the electric bicycle will be allowed on the road, and that the government does not want to make it difficult for the public to get approval for it, though the safety of road users is the government’s main concern.

So, giving your views in the public consultation is invaluable. Unfortunately, there’s not that much time to do so – all submissions must reach MIROS by 5pm on April 29, which is later this week.

Below are the points covered, and questions regarding, the issue.


PUBLIC CONSULTATION: The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) is pleased to open for public consultation the issue of electric bicycles in Malaysia.

PURPOSE: The aim of this public consultation is to obtain views, comments and feedback from the public on whether and how to regulate electric bicycles in Malaysia.

BACKGROUND: MIROS has been directed to study and make proposals on how to regulate the use of electric bicycles in the country. The possible use of electric bicycles in Malaysia cuts across multiple sectors such as road safety, green technology, specification standards, the extent of regulation (for example registration, licensing, training, insurance and law enforcement) and socio-economic factors, to name a few. The outcome of this public consultation could have significant implications for consumers and industry.

ISSUES: MIROS therefore seeks feedback from the public and industry on the aforesaid matters and in particular, the following:

1. According to your understanding:
A. What is a bicycle?
B. What is an electric bicycle?
C. How should we differentiate an electric bicycle from a motorcycle?

2. Should there be a clear definition of “electric bicycle” in the law?
A. If yes, why? (Please provide reasons for your views)
B. If no, why not? (Please provide reasons for your views)

3. Whether electric bicycles should be allowed in Malaysia?
A. If yes, why? (Please provide reasons for your views)
B. If no, why not? (Please provide reasons for your views)

4. If electric bicycles are to be allowed in Malaysia:
A. What type of electric bicycles should be permitted and what specification standards (for example, speed, battery type, lights etc) should be applicable? (Please provide the reasons and basis for your views)
B. Should any other aspects of the industry be regulated?
C. Should the use and operation of electric bicycles be regulated?
a. If yes:
i. what aspects of their use and operation should be regulated? (Please provide reasons for your views)
ii. to what extent should they be regulated? (Please provide reasons for your views)
iii. in what way should they be regulated? (Please provide reasons for your views)
b. If you think electric bicycles should not be regulated please also provide the basis for your views.

5. What are your views, if any, in respect of the following regarding electric bicycles:
A. Road safety in respect of:
a. The individual electric bicycle rider ( i.e. electric cyclist)
b. How the presence of the electric cyclist on the road might influence the safety of other road users; and
c. Bicycles being powered by electricity instead of human power
B. Environmental impact
C. Socio-economic issues

6. Are you a user of electric bicycles?

7. Are any of your family members an electric bicycle user?

SUBMISSION DETAILS: Please send us your comments by email to [email protected] or by hard copy addressed to Nurmaizah Jamsuri at MIROS at:
Lots 125 – 135,
Jalan TKS 1,
Taman Kajang Sentral,
43000 Kajang, Selangor.

All comments (whether by email or hard copy) must reach MIROS by 5pm, Friday 29 April 2011, at the latest. The aggressive timeline for this study does not, regrettably allow for a longer time for this public consultation.

If you have the time and are so inclined, you might want to find out if there are any more seats at tomorrow’s Electric Bicycle Usage In Malaysia forum, which will discuss the views from various parties, vehicle safety aspects, law enforcement, green energy, infrastructure and other related areas.

The public can attend the forum, which will take place tomorrow, April 26, at the Pullman Hotel in Putrajaya, from 8.30am-2pm, but seats are limited; contact Abdul Rahmat at 03-8924 9316 or e-mail at [email protected] to register and confirm your seat, if there are still any left.

Meanwhile, over here, we’d like to hear your thoughts about electric bicycles. Aye or nay, and why? Do share your musings with us.