Malaysian Motorcycle E-hailing Startup Dego Ride Resumes Operations, Looks to Boost Local Job Market

Dego Ride, a Malaysia-based motorcycle e-hailing startup, has began resuming operations in the country with a six month trial period focusing on the Klang Valley area starting Jan 1, 2020, after it was previously banned in 2017 by the then Barisan Nasional-led government over safety concerns. The new Pakatan Harapan government also had its doubts about the motorcycle e-hailing service, but later changed its mind and permitted a six month pilot period to commence beginning this year. The launch event for the ride-hailing startup was opened by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, youth and sports minister of Malaysia, who is an outspoken advocate for the country’s motorcycle ride-hailing services.

According to Syed Saddiq, the banning of the local motorcycle ride-hailing company by the previous government was a poorly made decision as the move stifled the promising growth of a local startup besides severely affecting the job opportunities for youths seeking to make a decent living as riders for ride-hailing services. With Dego Ride now back in operation, the minister says that the startup can potentially create as many as 5,000 new job opportunities in the labor market since it can now serve as a platform for the country’s youth to obtain gainful employment, whether it be full-time or part-time, as its riders. Hence, the nation’s jobseekers are strongly encouraged to apply with the startup for an additional income stream. Eventually, Syed Saddiq hopes that the home-grown startup can one day grow to rival even the regional unicorns like Grab and Gojek, and is quite proud of the fact that it is the youth’s own initiative that made the motorcycle ride-hailing service a reality for the country.

Nabil Feisal Bamadhaj, Dego Ride’s founder, said that the e-hailing startup had so far received more than 4,000 applications from those interested in becoming its riders, though it had only approved 700 so far due to the new year period. He also noted that women are keen to work as motorcycle riders in the e-hailing service sector as well, which is evidenced by the fact that 100 of those applications are from women. Nabil hopes that more women would apply to work for the startup since there is considerable demand from female passengers for its e-hailing service as most of them end their work shifts at shopping malls and retail areas around midnight and require a safe and convenient means of getting back home, and the 24 hour on-demand ride-hailing service is the perfect solution for that.

Currently, the startup is aiming to get a fleet of 5,000 riders for its e-hailing service, and will be initially focused on the Kuala Lumpur-centered Klang Valley area, with coverage extending from Putrajaya to Shah Alam for its six month trial period, with plans to expand to other states over the next three months. Nabil said that he expects the motorcycle ride-hailing service to help lower traffic congestion by offering last-mile connections to other public transportation providers, as well as making the daily to and fro commute a more enjoyable experience.

As the motorcycle ride-hailing startup Dego Ride begins to on-board more riders onto its platform, it will provide a much-needed boost to Malaysia’s job market. Step by steady step, the tenacious local startup may yet one day achieve unicorn status, just as the minister Syed Saddiq hoped it would.

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Derek Tan

Derek is the news editor at Absolute Market, a news media focusing on the Southeast Asian tech and startup scene. Contact him at derek [at] for any news pitch.