Singaporeans enraged over the new ban on e-scooters from footpaths are expressing their anger through all sorts of means – from angry rants targeting responsible officials to videos and memes suggesting ways to skirt the law.
Leading the charge against the ban announced yesterday that’s sure to hurt food couriers, Kelvin Ho lashed out on behalf of his fellow deliverymen in a 10-minute diatribe against Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min.
“You are destroying all the PMD food delivery riders, you know or not? Footpaths cannot ride ah? At first, you emphasized [that] PMD is a fire hazard [and that] all must change to UL-2272,” he says in slang-choked Singlish. “Okay, you know, many owners got the UL2272 [certified e-scooters] just because of you, LTA people … Now, you say footpaths cannot ride? Wah! Must push ah?”
“How [do] you want them to push? Deliver food. If the footpath is 200-to-300 meter, they must push [all the way] ah? … I don’t think PMD is a hazard, you are the hazard!” he adds.
Food delivery firms are bracing for the consequences of the ban on their business. GrabFood told reporters yesterday that customers should be prepared to wait longer for orders or even have them canceled, while Deliveroo said it would stop working with delivery personnel who flout the ban.
Lam yesterday announced that e-scooters would be taken on cycling paths and parks at risk of a S$2,000 (US$1,790) fine or three months in jail.
In September, the government announced a S$100 buyback program for e-scooters that hadn’t passed a stringent set of tests to qualify for UL2272 safety certification.
“By the way, your S$100, big fish ah… We give you S$100, you give us a motorbike. We give you another S$100 and you give us a full course motorbike license — can or not?” Ho added.
Ho went on to say the ban would lead to congested footpaths as e-scooter riders dismount and push their devices alongside pedestrians. He also suggested the government set up designated paths for e-scooters, or allow them to travel on the left-hand side of the road – similar to bicycles – instead of resorting to a ban.
Commenters praised Ho’s animated rant as “on point.”
“What he says is quite valid. What about those people who depend on PMD for work?” a Eugene Ong said on Facebook.
“Can totally understand though I don’t ride a PMD,” a Michelle Phua said.
Meanwhile, others came up with hilarious ideas to skirt the law.
Since e-scooters are forbidden on roads and footpaths, how about traveling on the grass patch? A video of a guy showing how it’s done has been viewed more than 70,000 times. Memes of traveling on grass patches also been making the rounds.
And since motorized wheelchairs are not affected by the ban, how about switching out the e-scooters for them?
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This article, ‘You are the hazard!’: Singapore’s e-scooter riders lash out at ban, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!