Allowing motorcycles to be used as public transport (taxis) like in other southeast Asian countries is a step backward for Malaysia. This comes from deputy transport minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi in a report by The Malay Mail recently.

The minister stated that two-wheeled public transport like those found in Thailand and Indonesia would hinder Malaysia’s plans to be modern. “We don’t want to go backwards like Jakarta or Bangkok. We want to be an advanced country like in Singapore and London with proper public transport,” he said.

“We don’t want to be a substandard city like in Jakarta, Indonesia that relies on motorcycles as a mode of public transport. We don’t want Kuala Lumpur to go backwards, we want to be on par with Singapore and London,” he added.

Commenting on Dego Ride, a local company that offers motorcycle taxis in the Klang Valley region, Ab Aziz stated that motorcycles are too dangerous to be used as public transport. “We have never allowed for motorcycles to be a taxi service. This is because of safety reasons, there are a lot of factors that can be dangerous,” he said.

Ab Aziz also said the Road Transport Department will act against Dego if the company continues to offer its services, adding that motorcycles are only meant to be used as private vehicles and cannot operate as taxis. Recently, transport minister Liow Tiong Lai announced that the motorcycle taxi service will not be legalised in Malaysia.

As an alternative, the deputy transport minister suggested a change of direction for Dego by providing a mini-taxi service instead, with cars that have an engine capacity below 1,500 cc. “There is no room for motorcycles but we have already allowed low-powered cars to operate as taxis. Instead of a motorcycle taxi service you can embark on a mini taxi service. A small car is okay but motorcycles are dangerous,” he said.