According to Malaysian newspaper The Star, the Malaysian government could soon ban electric bikes, citing safety reasons.
The Malaysian transport ministry recommends a ban and is presenting its case to the Malaysian Cabinet later today.
Transport minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said:
“Electric bicycles do not meet the performance specifications of motorcycles. [An e-bike] is more than a bicycle but less than a motorcycle."
He dismissed claims that e-bikes were good for the environment:
“If you want to talk about being environmentally-friendly, using a normal bicycle is still the best."
Because e-bikes are classified as bicycles and not motorbikes, they can be currently ridden without licensing on roads and cycle paths.
“Anyone can use [an electric bike] as there are no restrictions on who can use a bicycle,” said the transport minister.
“There is no need to register an electric bicycle or obtain a driving licence, tax, insurance or registration number."
Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said:
“According to road safety studies, bicycles that move at more than 20km per hour pose a much higher risk of injury to pedestrians, especially when both share the same lane."