SHAH ALAM, 27 May 2024: Asia Mobiliti, a Malaysia Digital (MD) status company has been subjected to a recent online campaign by certain unidentified parties that have casted doubts on the process by which we were appointed by the Selangor state government to operate Demand-Responsive Transit (DRT) service for the public.

Our appointment as one of two DRT service providers for the Selangor Mobility program was first announced at a public forum organised by the Selangor state government with Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA) and Menteri Besar Selangor Incorporated (MBI) on 15th June 2023. This was followed by the official unveiling of the Selangor Mobility brand logo and zone announcement at the Selangor Smart City & Digital Economy Convention (SDEC) on 20th October 2023. This appointment was also announced in our own press release at that time which was carried by various news agencies and published on our website.

DRT is a ground-breaking technology for public transport that enables on-demand shared rides services with the use of intelligent, machine-learning algorithms to automate fleet dispatch and optimise vehicle routing to accomplish efficient pick-up and drop-off of passengers headed to various destinations. Bookings are made via a passenger app while drivers are guided by a driver app. Operating within a geofenced zone, this provides for more efficient and cost-effective first- & last-mile passenger services, freed from a fixed schedule and fixed route of conventional public transport services.

As the pioneers of DRT in Malaysia with Trek Rides, we conducted a private pilot of the service in September 2021 in Petaling Jaya for relevant stakeholders and clients which was widely reported then. Following the successful pilot and the validation of use, we were the first to be licensed by Agensi Pengangkutan Awam Darat (APAD) to operate a ‘bus-on-demand’ service in December 2022 and remain the only company with a made in Malaysia system, designed and developed by our Engineering & Technology team as part of our Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform, Trek. Apart from Trek Rides, the platform consists of other proprietary and innovative products including a connected vehicle system, drive-by condition monitoring systems for railway tracks and road surface, an IoT connectivity platform, a transit data feed service consumed by a global mapping client based in the Netherlands, a data analytics tool for city-wide mobility insights, and a multimodal journey planning and ticketing engine that connects all modes of transport in a city.

Founded in 2018, we are a proudly Malaysian startup co-founded by Premesh Chandran and Ramachandran Muniandy that have since earned global and regional recognition, among which includes the Newton Ungku Omar Fund Grand Challenge 2019 winner, a global semi-finalist for Toyota Mobility Foundation’s 2020 CATCH challenge, a global Top 150 semi-finalist for X-PITCH 2021, sole Malaysian representative in the Entrepreneurship World Cup Global Finals 2022, Trek Rides recognised as a global Top 100 solution in the 2023 AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, winner of the Carsome Mobility Lab accelerator program which was the first auto ecosystem-focused accelerator in Southeast Asia and most recently, selected into the 100Soonicorns program assembling the best technology startups in Malaysia with the potential to be a unicorn.

Our support of the Selangor Mobility program underscores the need for ecosystem building and for strategic public-private partnerships without which it would be impossible for Selangor to be the first in Malaysia to provide DRT services to the public. Across the five zones which we operate (four of which are for Selangor Mobility which began in November 2023), we are on track to achieve a record high of 14,000 ridership this month (May 2024).

We regularly bid for tenders and like any other competitive business, we are successful with some and not so successful with others. Being a highly transparent and ethical business which is an extension of the personal values of our co-founders, we abhor collusion and anti-competitive practices by any party, especially government agencies and corporates.

In the context of the Selangor Mobility appointment process, we understand the reasons given for awarding two companies instead of one. An open tender in this situation of a highly specialised new service and with only two qualified companies in Malaysia would have created a monopoly situation in the state. This would have stifled competitiveness and robbed the opportunity for the state to pilot the service in a real-world setting and assess the performance of the service providers over a reasonable period of time.

It must be noted that the appointment is only for a period of nine months and required extensive investment from both service providers in terms of procuring vehicles, hiring drivers and continuous optimisation and development of the technology that powered the service. The state received the best value for its investment and provided the opportunity for two companies to prove themselves and design a new service for the state which is arguably the first of its kind state-program anywhere in Southeast Asia. The success of the Selangor Mobility program has also led to Prasarana and the Ministry of Transport announcing the adoption of DRT as a replacement for conventional feeder bus services with RapidKL running a wildly successful pilot in May 2023 with Trek Rides in UM-Bangsar South which we continue to operate independently.

As a company committed to its responsibilities towards its clients and shareholders, we take these recent accusations seriously and will exercise our legal options where necessary in safeguarding our reputation and credibility. We view this as an unsubstantiated attack against a Malaysian technology startup.

We remain committed to our mission of improving mobility in cities of the developing world, beginning with Kuala Lumpur, with the use of cutting-edge technology and data. We will continue to invest into creating value in Malaysia and prove that good things can come out of Malaysia.

Asia Mobiliti Board of Directors