OBIKE is a bicycle-sharing platform, allowing riders to drop them off at any suitable public spot so that others may continue to use them.
These yellow bikes are found in larger numbers near train stations, shopping malls and tertiary institutions, as they are a favourite among students for first and last mile connections.
Riders need to download the app, pay a refundable deposit of RM129 for adults or RM79 for students, scan the lock with the built-in barcode scanner within the app, which unlocks the bicycle.
The users’ data are trackable, such as where they go, where they turn on and turn off their app.
But, just like supermarket trolleys, these bicycles weighing 22kg or 14.5kg, can be removed to another site.
This was what I witnessed on Monday evening at a housing area in Kuala Lumpur.
Two young boys, one steering the handle bar and the other lifting the rear wheel, were making a great effort to haul in their catch in the form of an oBike.
Looking around, I noticed dozens of children pedalling joyfully on oBikes.
They must have found a way to remove the heavy-duty bicycle lock and it has become a fad for children in this housing area to “steal” an oBike and ride it.
It’s sad that nobody bothers to do something. These children, if allowed to do as they like, may cause social problems.
Children are getting increasingly spoiled over the years, some unashamedly asking for money from strangers.
When they see adults pushing home supermarket trolleys, they too, learn to take home what fancies them even though it is public property.
If children are not prevented from stealing bicycles, who knows what they would do next?
Sadly, those who start with petty thieving will not stop.
They soon graduate to bigger things until they are caught.
The presence of oBikes, left unguarded, would induce many children to steal them when they see others enjoying a free ride.