Businessman Shamsubahrin apologises to Indonesians over Gojek remark

By BERNAMA / Pic By TMR File

A MALAYSIAN businessman yesterday made an open apology over a remark he made that had provoked the people of Indonesia, particularly those who provide and use the ride-hailing Gojek motorcycle service.

Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail (picture), founder of Big Blue Taxi Services, apologised to the Indonesian providers and users of the Gojek service for having labelled them as poor.

“Today, I apologise to you, the people of Indonesia, for having labelled you as poor,” he told a press conference at his office in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said he had been contacted by many quarters over the remark.

A gojek and a grab driver is waiting for an order in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday, August 13, 2017. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

Shamsubahrin especially angered the Gojek rider-partners in Indonesia who threatened to demonstrate at the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.

At the same, Shamsubahrin said he has no problem if the Malaysian government wants to introduce the Gojek service in Malaysia, but that passenger safety must be accorded priority.

He said his remark was based on Indonesian media reports on the economic status of the people of the republic and that it is not his intention to belittle them.

Shamsubahrin also asked the Malaysian government to take steps to help the people cope with the cost of living.

Established in 2010 in Indonesia, Gojek offers a wide range of services such as the GoRide motorcycle transport service; GoCar car transport service similar to GrabCar; GoFood food delivery service; GoBlueBird taxi service; GoBills bill payment service; GoMart market shopping service; GoLaundry laundry service and GoAuto vehicle repair service.

Gojek caught the attention of Malaysians after Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman announced his intention to introduce the ride-hailing motorcycle taxi service in the country. — Bernama