Founder of Big Blue Taxi Apologizes to Indonesians and Gojek Riders

Big Blue Taxi founder - Photo credit The Star
  • The founder of Big Blue Taxi apologized to Indonesians and Gojek riders over his disparaging remarks.

  • Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said that Gojek is only meant for “poor people” in Indonesia, Thailand, India and Cambodia in a video.

  • He claimed that what he said was based on a report on poverty in Indonesia.

The founder of Big Blue Taxi apologized to Indonesians and Gojek riders over his disparaging remarks.

Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail had previously remarked in a video that Gojek service is only for “poor” people in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, India and Combodia, while “Malaysians are rich enough to do without Gojek.”

CNN Indonesia reported that the video went viral in the country and sparked a firestorm of criticisms. It also led to Indonesian Gojek riders threatening to demonstrate in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta by the thousands.

“I hope there are no demonstrations in the interests and relationship between both countries,” Shamsubahrin told reporters during a press conference.

He then went on to blame a report about poverty in Indonesia (although he did not cite which particular report). “My statement is based on reports. If they think I’m wrong, I accept it.

The brouhaha began shortly after Youth and Sports Minister YB Syed Saddiq Syed Rahman announced his intention on lobbying the Cabinet to approve the Indonesia-based Gojek service in Malaysia. The service was then given a go-ahead by the Cabinet.

While it was an approval by principle according to Transport Minister YB Anthony Loke, it ran directly counter against his stand in banning motorcycle taxi services. He had even succinctly directed Malaysian-based Dego Ride to shut down. He was defensive when approached by reporters on the “u-turn” by remarking that, “You don’t have to remind me.”

To Shamsubahrin, the decision to approve Gojek was politically-driven.

Source: The Star

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