Ever since the Covid-19 rules in the country have been relaxed, prices of e-hailing services have skyrocketed, where it was reported that fares shot up as much as 400% during peak hours.
Responding to the issue, Deputy Transport Minister Henry Sum Agong has urged Malaysians to find other modes of transportation if they find e-hailing services to be too expensive.
He said this in the parliamentary session at the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (15 August) when responding to a question from Senator Lim Pay Hen, who asked what action the ministry will take on e-hailing service providers who charge exorbitant fares.
Henry said the sharp increase in e-hailing fares was provided on a willing buyer-willing seller basis, as well as the increasing demand and a shortage of drivers following the reopening of the country’s economy and social activities.
“Many e-hailing drivers who registered during COVID-19 have returned to their former career, hence the shortage,” he said.
“Passengers are free to book with any e-hailing provider and can agree or disagree with the fares quoted. If they disagree, they can use other modes of public transportation like taxi services.”
The Transport Ministry says the recent rise in e-hailing fares is due to increased demand after the economy reopened, and a lack of drivers.— BFM News (@NewsBFM) August 15, 2022
Deputy Minister Henry Sum Agong called on users to opt for other transport modes if they do not agree with the spike of fares in Malaysia. pic.twitter.com/52k0qwpdBQ
Nonetheless, his unpopular opinion did not sit well with Malaysians who took it online to criticise him for making those insensitive comments.
“This is them. Ask the rakyat to ‘opt for others’ instead of fixing the problems,” a netizen said.
“In order to opt for public transport, I have to use grab to the station,” another netizen said.
Meanwhile, some netizens related it to how the government previously advised the people to consume less chicken and eggs when the prices increase.
“Chicken is expensive? Don’t eat it, eat fish. Vegetables are expensive? Plant it yourself. Eggs are expensive? Eat them less. These sort of advice is exactly the same as this statement,” a netizen said.
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