Be wary of unregulated services’ lack of security features: MP
Molester used unregulated private-hire car service to find victims
While more can be done to enhance the safety of Singapore's transport ecosystem, commuters must also be careful when using unregulated services, says MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Saktiandi Supaat.
The Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) chairman for transport noted that unregulated services are cheaper because they do not have the same security features and checks as regulated platforms.
"I strongly encourage commuters to utilise the security features on regulated platforms," he told The New Paper.
Referring to the case of Muhammad Hafiz Maksah, who exploited unregulated private-hire car services to prey on women, Mr Saktiandi said that parents are right to be wary.
"There are valid concerns which I understand as a parent myself," added the father of three teenage children.
"Thankfully so far, we have not seen many cases of abuse (in private hire car services) as compared with other countries."
Calling for a deterrent sentence for Hafiz yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran noted the consistent number of molest complaints against private-hire drivers in recent years - 17 each in 2017 and 2018 and 15 last year.
Pointing out the greater potential for abuse in unregulated services, he said they "have no systems of accountability, such as location tracking systems or driver histories, and largely function on a system of trust".
"The present case clearly demonstrates that unregulated private-hire car platforms can be abused by drivers with nefarious intentions because of the sheer lack of accountability."
Mr Saktiandi said he hopes to see enhanced security features for all drivers in the system.
"Unregulated services may be cheaper because they don't have to spend money to implement such features. I am sure there are decent drivers who just want to earn a living, but you cannot put a price on safety and security."- DAVID SUN