Singapore—Former presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian and opposition leader Goh Meng Seng will be speaking at the rally organised by Personal Mobility Device PMD riders that is scheduled for this Saturday, November 23, at 5:00 pm at Hong Lim Park.
The programme flow for the event was published on the Facebook page All Singapore Stuff, and carried the hashtag #PMDRIDERSUNITE.
The announcement emphasised yet again that the demonstration is to be a peaceful one, and includes a list of reminders as to what is allowed and disallowed, such as, no smoking, littering, bringing of sharp objects, flying of drones without a permit and so on. Attendees were also reminded to come in casual clothes, since wearing food delivery company uniforms is not permitted.
Mr Tan, who is a businessman and social activist, aired his perspectives on the matter on his own Facebook account, writing,
My views are:
a)PMDs are useful for food delivery riders and for commuters to get to the bus stops, MRT stations and to work.
b) We can find a way to allow them to use the walkway without causing danger to pedestrians.
c) We can deal with errant riders with appropriate means, but we should not penalize the safe riders just because of the behavior of the errant riders.
He also added that he would be making suggestions for the creation of safe walkways that would not require a ban.
The rally comes in the wake of the November 4 announcement in Parliament on the ban on e-scooters, an announcement that has drawn both praise and censure, the latter mainly coming from food delivery riders, many of whom rely on e-scooters for their means of livelihood.
A number of these food delivery riders have taken to attending Members of Parliament (MP) Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS) to air their concerns and grievances.
The chief reason for the ban is the issue of public safety, according to Dr Lam Pin Min, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport, who announced the ban in Parliament.
Dr Lam wrote, “Despite major efforts to educate safe and gracious riding, irresponsible riding and accidents involving e-scooters have risen over the past few years, leading to injuries and even loss of lives….
It has not been a straightforward nor an easy decision, but public safety always comes first and should never be at the expense of the young and elderly amongst us.”
Mr Goh, who is the head of the People’s Power Party, has been outspoken regarding the ban, to the point of attending and speaking up at some of the MPS that food delivery riders have attended, including one headed by Dr Lam himself.
The PPP head, who says he has a “comprehensive, long-term solution” to the PMD problem, spoke up at the meeting with Dr Lam, and while what he said exactly has gone unreported, he was cheered several times by the MPS attendees.
In a Facebook post, Dr Lam showed that he did not take too kindly to Mr Goh’s input at the MPS, although he refrained from mentioning the PPP head by name. But since Mr Goh was recorded on video as having attended the MPS, his identity is not difficult to deduce.
Dr Lam did not hold back in his post, calling the opposition head’s actions “irresponsible and abhorrent” and saying that he had come to the MPS “to politicise the issue and stoke the emotions of those present.” -/TISG