The government may have legalised the likes of Uber and Grab, but it has no plans to do the same for motorcycle taxis. This is because of the high number of road accidents involving motorcycles in Malaysia, said transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, reported by The Star.

“Even when SPAD tables the amendment, they (Dego Ride) will not be legalised. We are not against Dego Ride, but we are against this mode of transportation, where motorcycles are being used to take passengers. It will create higher risks for road users,” he said, adding that over 60% of road deaths involved motorcycle accidents.

“During the Chinese New Year Ops Selamat this year, 151 deaths out of 257 on the roads involved motorcycles. Although the number of deaths is fewer than the 158 recorded during the same period last year, it still accounted for over 60% of accidents, which remains a worrying figure,” Liow continued.

Dego Ride – which provides a Whatsapp-based “taxi-motor service” like those seen in Jakarta and Bangkok – has so far been defiant, previously saying that it would continue operating in KL, and that there were no laws to prevent it from doing so.

The minister said Dego Ride should not try to “challenge” the law, adding that there were laws such as Section 23 of the Road Transport Act that bars motorcycles from being used as taxis.

“Under this Act, our enforcement officers can take action against the motorcycle rider. We will even pose as passengers to catch them in the act. Section 16 and 47 of the SPAD Act states that any company wishing to set up a taxi service must have a commercial licence from SPAD. Dego Ride does not have a commercial licence. It has never contacted us and never applied for it,” he stressed.

In response to the stop order, Dego Ride wants a chance for it to show its safety record, which it claims is flawless. The company’s founder and CEO Nabil Feisal Bamadhaj said they had not had any accidents since operations started three months ago. “If the issue is about safety, until today there is no accident involving Dego riders,” he told mStar Online.

Last month, deputy transport minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi sung the same tune. “So far, no licences have been issued for motorcycle taxi riders, if they conduct such a business, it is illegal,” he said, adding that riders who provide such services could be charged for misusing their personal motor vehicle licences for commercial purposes.