Yesterday’s announcement by the Transportation Ministry that they would be banning all online motorcycle taxi hailing services like Go-Jek and GrabBike (as well as other app-based transport services like Uber and GrabCar) has quickly been met by strong criticism by netizens, who are making their voices loudly heard on Twitter and in petitions.
But now, President Joko Widodo has also weighed in on the issue, and he’s clearly not happy with the Transportation Ministry’s decision.
“I will immediately call the Ministry of Transportation. Ojeks are needed by the people. Don’t make things difficult for the people just because of regulations. It should be managed.”
It’s a heartening trend to see Jokowi responding to issues much more quickly recently on Twitter. Clearly he is listening to what people are saying online.
But we also think Jokowi has a soft spot for the drivers of these services. Back in September the president had a lunch meeting with drivers from Go-Jek, Uber and other online transport services (as well as traditional ojeks) to listen to their problems. Clearly he thought these services should exist back then if he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to these drivers personally to help work out their issues. So we’re not surprised to see him sticking up for them now.