SINGAPORE — Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said he has held a “good” and “civil” discussion with about 30 personal mobility device (PMD) riders but decried what he claimed was the “sneaky and unnecessary” action of an individual who took photos and misrepresented the meeting.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (6 November), Shanmugam noted that the group of riders had come to his Meet-the-People Session on Tuesday evening. After first meeting three of them in his branch office, the MP for Nee Soon GRC then asked to meet the rest of the group.
“As it was an open area, I told them to come closer around me so that we can hear each other better. I explained the reasons for the move on PMDs. They explained their position, their difficulties. I said we understood their position, but I would also convey their views to MOT, and to Cabinet. The riders were appreciative,” said Shanmugam.
In a sudden announcement, authorities said in Parliament on Monday that from 5 November, the use of PMDs on footpaths will be prohibited. Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min also told the House that the government is aware that the ban will have an impact on the food delivery companies and has engaged the major firms – foodpanda, GrabFood and Deliveroo.
In a video of the meeting uploaded online, at least five food delivery riders can be seen.
But Shanmugam also noted that an individual named Edmund Loke had been taking photos of the meeting, which he later posted on Facebook and then took down.
The 59-year-old added, “(Loke) had previously posted an online petition calling for a ban on PMDs. He didn’t seem to be part of the PMD group, but seems to have intended to convey an impression of the meeting which is quite inaccurate – that in some way I was ambushed by the PMD riders, and they surrounded me.”
Shanmugam called Loke’s conduct “sneaky and unnecessary, when we try and deal with issues in good faith”, adding “We know he is a supporter of a political party”.
There are currently about 100,000 registered e-scooters in Singapore. About 7,000 food delivery riders from GrabFood, Deliveroo, and Foodpanda use PMDs.
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