Small underbone motorcycles, popularly referred to as kapchais might be banned from entering Kuala Lumpur, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and pollution. In a speech by Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, he said the city was looking at prohibiting kapchais from entering the city centre, provided public transport was available at a reasonable price.

“During the day, the population (in the city) increases to between five and seven million because workers commute to work,” said Tengku Adnan in a The Star report. “Many cities do not allow kapchai to come in,” he said, “and motorcycles have been used by snatch thieves in the city.”

However, Tengku Adnan recognised that many people needed kapchais for transport as they could not afford other modes of transport due to low salaries. “Once cheaper public transport is available, we will be looking at the possibility of not allowing kapchai motorcycles into the city,” he said.

Additionally, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has plans to introduce a road congestion pricing scheme in the city centre, and will implement the system when the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) begins operations. The plan to introduce road pricing has been incorporated in the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 and is aimed at reducing the flow of private cars travelling in to the city centre.

The idea of banning small motorcycles from congested city streets is not new, with authorities in the city of Hanoi, Vietnam, contemplating a ban on all forms of two-wheeled transport from its city centre by 2025. In an effort to contain pollution, the cities of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City are also considering banning diesel vehicles, with Paris already forbidding vehicles made before 1997 from its streets.