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“Are you running a communist law now?” PMD riders confront Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng

It was probably the most tense PMD-MPS meeting so far.

Joshua Lee | November 11, 11:01 pm

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Personal mobility device (PMD) food delivery riders showed little signs of abating as they continued to visit Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS) for the fifth consecutive working day (Nov. 11, 2019).

However, the MPS at Taman Jurong took a rather tense turn when they confronted Ang Wei Neng, Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC, regarding the footpath ban that was enacted on Nov. 5.

Ang, who is the representative for Jurong Central, was sitting in for Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam who was overseas.

E-scooters permanently banned from public footpaths starting Nov. 5, 2019

“You take back all our freedom!”

In a video of the session sent to Mothership (and uploaded to Facebook), an elderly man can be heard gesturing and shouting angrily at Ang, while a group of people stood around to watch.

Around the elderly man were PMD riders dressed in their delivery uniforms, including those from Grab and Deliveroo.

It appeared that most of the delivery riders were seated in chairs that were likely to be prepared by the MPS volunteers. Such a scene was also observed in Jurong last Thursday.

About 50 food delivery PMD riders turn up at Meet-the-People session in Jurong

“Can the government withdraw the law? Take back the law! Can? Yes or no!” the elderly man shouted.

“Can you give us the S$7 million that we need on the spot [undecipherable]? On the spot!” he continued.

“You take back all our freedom! You take all our freedom! You see….And now we become enemies! We are enemies inside our own country! Are you running a communist law now?”

The elderly man was probably referring to the new S$7 million e-scooter trade-in grant announced by LTA last Friday (Nov. 8).

Under this scheme, delivery riders will receive a grant of between S$600 to S$1,000 to trade in their e-scooters for regular bicycles, power-assisted bicycles (PABs) and personal mobility aids (PMAs).

S’pore delivery riders will get up to S$1,000 to trade in PMDs for bicycles, e-bikes & PMAs

Then, the crowd can be heard urging the uncle to cool down.

Someone else shouted: “We are human, not dog!”

PMD rider says they are not slaves of members of the public

At one point, another man also accused Land Transport Authority (wrongly, if we might add) of breaching the Personal Data Protection Act when the latter took photos of PMD riders flouting regulations.

He added that the “[members of the public] are the ones offending us and triggering our tempers here”:

“We don’t owe them anything. We are not their slaves. We have served the country, we have contributed to our nation.”

“Yet we never get back any benefits from the government,” he said to applause and cheers from PMD riders around him.

Later when a visibly stressed representative (in black blazer) of the group of PMD riders spoke up to try to calm the group, another man can be heard shooting him down saying:

“We don’t want to ban. Legalise back! Anything (happens), you check the rules, (then) summon! Simple, give our live back!”

The representative then said: “We need to also find a win-win situation! We cannot give them (the MPs) a hard time right?”

As for MP Ang Wei Neng, not much could be heard from him in the video, but at one point, he said that he will take back all of the feedback he heard from this session.

You can watch the video below:

Here are other instances of PMD riders seeking help from their MPs:

I spoke to PMD delivery riders at an Ang Mo Kio MPS. No, they’re not young punks.

About 50 PMD food delivery riders show up at Ang Mo Kio Meet-the-People session to seek recourse

PMD riders & sellers meet SM Teo Chee Hean at MPS to share concerns with new LTA trade-in grant

About 50 food delivery PMD riders turn up at Meet-the-People session in Jurong

 

Edit: A previous version of this article stated incorrectly that the MPS was held at Jurong Central. It has been corrected. 

Top screengrabs from video sent by Mothership reader. 

 

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