Singapore—There have been a number of Meet-the-People (MPS) sessions attended by Personal Mobility Device (PMD) riders ever since the announcement of the ban on e-scooters on public footpaths on November 4 in Parliament.
One of those meetings was with Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, the Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, on the day that the ban took effect. Another one was held with Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, who is the MP for Jurong GRC, shortly afterward.
Many of the attendees have sought dialogue with their MPs, and understandably so, given the effect of the ban on their source of livelihood.
But perhaps the most heated of all the meetings occurred in an MPS with Ang Wei Neng, also an MP for Jurong GRC, on November 11. According to mothership, Mr Ang had taken the place of Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is out of the country.
All the budak Jurong Vs pay and pay
Posted by Siao Kai on Monday, 11 November 2019
In the meeting, which was attended by a number of individuals in GrabFood and FoodPanda uniforms, an older man became particularly irate, stood up, and addressed the MP, with the others breaking into applause as the older man made his points.
The older man can be heard irately asking the MP and the group with him, “Can the government take back the law? Yes or no?”
Another man chimes in, “Please, give us respect.”
Yet another says, “We are human, not dogs.”
The older man goes on to say, “Can you give us on the spot the 7 million?”
He was referring, most likely, to the announcement from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on November 8, Friday, of a S$7 million e-scooter trade-in grant that would give e-scooter riders amounts from S$600 to S$1,000 for them to trade in their current PMDs for either bicycles, power-assisted bicycles (PABs) or personal mobility aids (PMAs).
“You have made a mess out of things,” the older man cried, at which the audience broke out into applause.
“You take back all our freedom. You take all our freedom. You see, and now we become enemies. We are enemies inside our own country.
Are you running a communist law now?”
At this point, others urged him to calm down, but others kept speaking up.
The video, which was uploaded late on the night of November 11, Monday, has been viewed and shared thousands of times.
Singaporeans have been divided on the e-scooter ban, which the government put into effect in the interest of public safety, after the rising number of accidents involving PMD riders, including the fatality of a 65-year-old woman riding a bike, who had collided with a PMD rider.
Senior Minister of State Lam Pin Min has said that this had not been an easy decision to make, and that authorities have held “extensive discussions” on the matter.
While many greeted the news with thankfulness, others have not been so happy with the ban, particularly those whose livelihoods have been affected by it.
Messrs Shanmugam, Lee and Ang have all told attendees at their MPSs that they would take their concerns to the Ministry of Transport and other authorities. -/TISG