Robin Low: Don’t get divided by the E-scooter ban

by Robin Low

Adding labels divide you. Oh, you are “Pro-PMD!” or are you “Anti-PMD”

I don’t support the behavior and some PMD users, and I don’t support the sudden blanket ban of PMDs.

The Singapore government has a stunning record of being consistent. Just look at Ng Yat Chung, this scholar is very consistent. As former Chief of defence, he probably has very good grades, and he never fails.

When after sinking NOL, the proceeds to lead SPH and continues his stellar record.

However, for the case of PMDs, there are people who encountered a few bad riders and suddenly they call out for the ban. I personally have encountered some impatient e-scooters who ring their bells at me while I’m at the bus stop, and some e-scooters overtaking me while I’m driving on the road. Yes, I acknowledge they exist, but having a ban under such short notice, is it justified?

Let us look at the other case where an “FT” behaves badly. Yes, we can find a lot of examples of some of these foreigners behave badly in Singapore, and you probably encountered one, so are there people calling for a ban of foreigners? Did the government stop importing foreigners?

Don’t let a bad example make us hate specific groups of people. I am sure you know that Ang Mo Kio Town Council general manager was accused of receiving about S$107,000 in various forms of gratification from a company and was charged in court. But this does not mean all PAP Town Councils are corrupt. Even though some of the ex-People’s Action Party (PAP) member set up a $2 company — AIM paid S$140,000 for the software which cost town councils about S$24 million to develop, this does not mean that they are corrupt. and Yes, Holland-Bukit Panjang and Pasir Ris-Punggol — had sunk about $12 million into the structured products, including Lehman Minibonds and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3, and lost money. But the PAP say that they should not be blamed.

So, let us not be divided on the Workers’ Party Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) saga as well.

Let us think of the source of problems that we face today:

  1. Overcrowding and stress — a lot of the problem for PMD, cost of living, breaking down of MRT, all comes from overcrowding. Years ago, PAP told us that the land size of Singapore is limited, yet our population seemed to have doubled in the last 30 years.
    Overcrowding is the main issue here.
  2. Infrastructure not good enough — PMDs and bicycles are used as the last mile to bring us from the MRT stations home, but clearly, the sheltered walkways are not enough for that amount of people to use. Perhaps we need PMD lanes built too. Oh shucks, the sheltered walkways are already built, do we still have budget for PMD and cycling lanes?
  3. Basic rules for mobility vehicles — When we drive, we have highway code to follow, why not have a set of rules for cyclists to obey. We can agree that helmets save lives, all motorcyclists wear helmets, why not cyclists and PMD users? Can we also ensure they all have lights, day or night? Like motorcycles? Perhaps, buy insurance and obey traffic direction as well?

There are a lot of other good solutions like allowing PMD delivery people in uniform to use footpaths, etc. We need to take them all into consideration. And please be tolerant, just because you are not a PMD user, don’t blame all PMD users and be outraged that some of them may not be gracious enough to your standards.

I am a motorcyclist and I do not ride PMDs, but I do feel that many drivers do not like motorcyclists too as they see us filter through traffic while they are stuck in the jam.

Please don’t hate us. Blame overcrowding and poor planning that created the situation in the first place. Don’t be divided, we are all humans, let’s work together towards a solution.

This was first published on Mr Low’s Medium and reproduced with permission.