Gojek drivers raise funds for Malaysia's Big Blue Taxi founder to apologise in Jakarta

More than 400 Gojek riders recently protested outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta and raised funds for Big Blue Taxi Malaysia founder Shamsubahrin Ismail to make a public apology in Indonesia, according to multiple media reports such as CNA and Jakarta Post.

This comes after Shamsubahrin said in a video that Indonesia and its citizens are "poor" compared to Malaysia and therefore, there is no need for Gojek in Malaysia. The statement comes shortly after news broke that Malaysia government is currently mulling over allowing motorcycle e-hailing services in the country, which would include Gojek.

Shamsubahrin has allegedly declined the funds to travel to Jakarta. In a statement to The Star, he said he could afford to travel there and do not need it. However, he added that Jakarta is "not new" to him as he frequently travels there and encouraged Gojek drivers to give the money to those in need instead. Marketing Interactive has reached out to Big Blue Taxi Malaysia for comments.

In a statement to Marketing Interactive on the protest, Gojek chief of corporate affairs Nila Marita said the company believes that there is always a way to find a common ground that works best for all parties.

Meanwhile, she said that the discussion between the Malaysian government and Gojek was engaging and constructive. "We greatly appreciate the warm welcome and support that were expressed at the prospect of Gojek starting operations in Malaysia, which would increase access to additional income, bring more choice to customers and accelerate the growth of small medium businesses," she added.

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Previously, Shamsubahrin has reportedly apologised in a press conference shortly after thousands of Indonesian drivers under the Two-Wheel Action Movement (Garda) threatened to hold a street demonstration. According to Bernama, he said that he does not have any problems with Gojek into Malaysia if it keeps passengers safe and apologised for labelling Indonesians poor.

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