All personal mobility device (PMD) riders, particularly those who are food-delivery riders, are encouraged to come together for a peaceful rally this Saturday (23 Nov) at Hong Lim Park from 5pm to 10pm.
The gathering will act as a platform for all PMD riders to pen their thoughts on the recent ban that prohibits PMDs being used on footpaths, in hope that the government will know how much their livelihoods are affected.
While the event primarily seeks to address the issue of the PMD ban, fellow Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PR) who are not PMD users are welcome to join as well. Those who intend to do so are reminded to bring along their IC or passport.
Additionally, for those interested to join as a volunteer for the event, kindly reach out to Sarah Alatas (phone number: 8891 9772).
According to the itinerary posted by All Singapore Stuff on the Facebook event page, there will be four speakers at the rally – Kelvin Ho, Andrew Thong, Tan Kin Lian, and Goh Meng Seng.
What’s more, at 8pm, there will be an hour-long dialogue session for everyone to speak their minds.
Earlier this month (4 Nov), Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min announced the ban in Parliament, noting that it follows France’s move to prohibit the riding of e-scooters on its pavements after a high number of accidents involving such devices, several of which were fatal.
Dr Lam added in Parliament that the Government had expected PMD users to “be gracious and responsible” with “public education” on the responsible use of such devices, despite possible challenges facing the co-sharing of footpaths with pedestrians.
“Unfortunately, this was not so,” he lamented. He stated that “cities have allowed the use of such devices on footpaths” initially “as they are non-pollutive, inexpensive and, if properly used, convenient for short intra-town travels”.
However, the ban has drawn the ire of many PMD users, especially food-delivery riders who are dependent on PMDs as they are greatly affected by this move.
In fact, the past couple of weeks, hundreds of food-delivery riders turned up at the meet-the-people sessions with respective MPs to lament their frustrations over the ban.
Dr Lam, who attended one of the sessions on 12 November, wrote on his Facebook the following day about the ‘frank discussion’, saying that “there is no perfect solution”. He noted that the decision to ban PMDs from being used on footpaths was to restore the safety of “the majority of Singaporeans”.
Nonethetheless, the majority of Singaporeans are not on the same page as Dr Lam and the government, seeing how the ban seems to be inflicting more damages – notably to the livelihoods of PMD food-delivery riders – than its purpose to prevent any damages.
As such, over a hundred students have come together to express their solidarity with the food-delivery riders, hoping that their concerns and livelihood will be well-consulted and considered in future policy-making, and that members of the public can empathise with, and provide moral support to those who are affected in this period.
Even the newly-elected chairman of Singapore People’s Party (SPP), Jose Raymond, had his say on this matter. Earlier this week (19 Nov), Mr Raymond took to his Facebook to conclude that the sudden PMD ban shows that the government failed to look at “stakeholder engagement and consensus building in policy making”, adding that the ban “evidences poor policy planning model”.