LETTER | The latest issue to arise resulting in much debate is the proposal to introduce a motorcycle ride-hailing service similar to Indonesia's Gojek. I support this policy if there is proper enforcement.
My first reason for support is that it will provide jobs. Maybe not the "decent" jobs we hope, but it represents an honest way to earn a living for many who have only completed secondary schooling.
We are told the B40 population earns less than the median income of RM3,000. By right, the factories and plantations could have sourced some of their human resources from this group of income earners. However, due to the "3D" factors, these industries looked to foreign labour instead.
So how do we feed such a large number of citizens that increases every year?
A job in hand will mean money in the pocket and stomachs will not go hungry. Hungry stomachs make for distraught citizens who are more easily prone to unnecessary incitement in a nation spread thin by race and religious rhetoric.
With a job to handle, our young citizens learn to comply to rules, learn real-time responsibilities, time-management and a host of other related life skills such as managing income and balancing expenses while the most valuable experience will be the conviction of self-worth and esteem.
With a job to handle, many will have less time to idle and "idleness to the human mind is like rust to iron". Can we then hope for more productive citizens and less social problems among the young?
The money earned and spent on their daily necessities will assist to drive the general economy of the country. And we sorely need the internal as economics experts and analysts have already forecast the "high possibility of an expected technical recession in 2020 due to the economic uncertainties and the effect of the China-US trade war".
Additionally, think of the hundreds of thousands who attain the age 17, secure their driving licenses and add additional cars to the already congested roads every year.
That aside, a bike-hailing service will greatly provide the last-mile connectivity for those who are willing to use public transport or who find the hours spent in a traffic jam on a daily basis intolerable.
Let us not forget that Malaysia is still a developing nation and whilst the M40 are able to afford their own motor vehicles or use Grab and such, many of the B40 consists of young school leavers, retail assistants, F&B workers, clerical staff, factory workers and blue-collar workers for whom owning a car is not an option.
The safety aspects and the unruly behavior of some motorcyclists can be sorted out through proper implementation and enforcement.
Let us give this proposal a chance to see the light of day. At the very least, it affirms the effort of the government to address the some of the real issues affecting its citizens and especially targeting those more in need such as those of the B40, struggling to survive in urban centres. Many will be from rural areas who migrated due to non-availability of jobs in their rural hometowns.