Too much bikes are a nuisance to a city? That is almost unheard of in countries other than those who are swamped by oBike.
According to The Star, a multitude of bumblebee-coloured bicycles own by oBike (M) are all stacked up at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) depots, taking up unnecessary space in the city.
The mountain of oBike was never the city’s expectation. It was the city’s dream to have fewer cars taking over the streets and more people taking advantage of public transport and the fuelless two-wheelers.
But DBKL was wrong to back oBike when they realized that they have put their trust in the wrong company after Obike has gone into hiatus, doing nothing to clear up their own properties scattered around the city.
The bike-nightmare that is giving Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan a headache which led him to issue an ultimatum to oBike, stating, “Claim your bikes by mid-April or they will be seized and destroyed or sold for scrap!”.
The early sign of trouble for the commercial bicycle company came last year when the Singapore Police Force (SPF) started investigating oBike Singapore following claims of misappropriation of funds, CNA reported.
Before the company was shut down in last June, they collected S$12 million (RM36.17 million) from oBike Singapore users, S$10 million (RM30.15 million) of which was transferred to its Hong Kong office, said a liquidator. The S$10 million was to pay off a loan of S$11 million.
“Some of the transactions are inappropriate given the financial position of the company, and we will be looking at those a lot further,” FTI Consulting’s senior managing director Joshua Taylor said. He added that oBike Singapore owes the local users an estimated S$8.9million and he is now demanding money to return from oBike’s owner, Shi Yi.
In consequence of the oBike closure in Singapore, problems proliferated into Malaysia as well.
Malaysian users suffer the same fate as most oBike users could not get their refunds even until today. There was a mandatory deposit before users could begin using their service. Last year June, oBike removed the refund button from their app, leaving Malaysian users to think that the deposit is gone for good.
Some of these bicycles have ended up in rivers and back alleys, even clogging drains.
The use of oBike in Malaysia was difficult as the lack of proper bicycle parking spots and docking stations. Due to that, users began to abandon the bicycles everywhere.
“Our officers are constantly picking up these bikes, which have been badly damaged, and they are taking up space in our depots,’’ said the DBKL head officer.
Nor Hisham continued that it was very ironic how the company was trying to promote users to use the non-polluted vehicle but it is now making trash.
“And we cannot seem to locate them. Where are they now and why are they not clearing their bikes?”
In fact, DBKL held several internal meetings to resolve the matter and part of it was seeking legal advice on what to do with the abandoned bicycles. DBKL is currently looking for ways to resolve the clearance of the bicycles, which might take some time.
oBike has until April 15 to collect their bicycles before DBKL starts destroying and selling the parts for scrap.