Netizens Defend Foreign Workers Who Were Criticised For Using Free Go KL City Buses

Some netizens were not happy that foreign workers have "monopolised" free buses.

Cover image via Instagram @goklcitybus/AFP

Over the weekend, a debate emerged on Twitter on the topic of Go KL city buses usage being monopolised by foreign workers who reside in Malaysia

The iconic purple Go KL City Bus.

Image via Instagram @goklcitybus

The Go KL City Bus is an initiative by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to improve public mobility in the central business district of Kuala Lumpur via free bus rides.

On its website, it says that "rakyat and tourists alike may enjoy Go KL as Go KL stops at various main attractions and business centres for city dwellers' convenience".

Some netizens voiced their displeasure on foreign workers utilising free bus services

Netizens who were against foreign workers utilising free public transport called for better regulation over bus riders, such as checking for local identification cards (IC).

Image via Twitter

The sentiment was echoed by another netizen who also called for KL authorities to follow Melaka in adding a condition where bus riders have to show their identification cards.

Image via Twitter

Another netizen claimed that Malaysians will not feel "privileged" if there is "too much equal treatment". 

Image via Twitter

However, many Malaysians came to the defence of foreign workers

One netizen questioned why Malaysians get angry about foreign workers using free buses, when the rakyat themselves do not utilise the service.

They added, "No denying the service is paid for by the rakyat. But, our own people are too lazy to take the bus. They prefer to drive here and there. Government already prepared the service, then why don't use it? After that get angry, what's the relevance?"

Image via Twitter

Twitter user @transitmy asked if Malaysians would rather have foreign workers drive cars instead, "making the roads more congested".

"One full bus is carrying the same number of people as fifty nearly empty cars," they explained.

Others pointed out that Malaysians also practice bad etiquette when using public transportation

"Before immigrants, came the locals. These behaviours you claim (are) 'foreign', nah, I've seen it in locals first," said one user.

"Don't know how to line up, pretend they can't see the line. Don't know how to give pregnant women a seat. Malay, Chinese, Indian, all the same."

Image via Twitter

"Look at your own attitudes. If you keep pushing (on the bus), then they will also follow," said another user, adding that Malaysians should look at the etiquette of Singaporeans who queue for buses.

Image via Twitter

One user, who claims to be a frequent public bus rider, said foreign workers are the ones who usually give up their seats for those with special needs.

"All these 'honourable' Malaysians are the majority that fake ignorance. When foreign workers sit down, they check their boundaries compared to Malaysians. Just say you're racist and go.

Image via Twitter

Even Women, Family, and Community Development deputy minister Hannah Yeoh weighed in on the debate

"We cannot discriminate. This question was frequently asked when the Selangorku bus was launched but Selangor stands by the opinion that this facility is for all and does not discriminate against those who contribute to our economy," she said.

The Reformasi Muda Twitter page shared that there are no extra costs incurred for accommodating foreign workers on free bus facilities

"The utilisation of free buses rarely reaches 100% capacity," it tweeted in reply to another user.

"Even if there are extra costs incurred, access to free public transport provides many multiplier effects to the country (productivity) and the environment. Don't forget that foreign workers also contribute to the economy.

What are your opinions on free public transportation for all? Let us know in the comments section below!

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