Go-Jek and Tuyul: A Tale of Digital Age

This post is the sequel of the previous post about Go-Jek, where I have explained what it is. As for “tuyul”, you may haven’t got it, right? Actually it’s the name of a kind of ghost (in South East Asian archipelago) of mischievous thief in a form of small child or baby, and it’s bald-headed.

You may begin puzzled with this post title, after reading that definition of “tuyul” (or “toyol” in Malay). Yeah, an app of ride-sharing service is completely nothing to do with mythical creatures. But, that ghost, now has transformed into digital creatures. Its job remains unchanged: stealing money. Of course not the real money we usually use to buy some goods.

So, the “tuyul” here is a term they call for the fraud they do by faking their current location. Technically, Go-Jek drivers would obtain passengers who are in the nearby location.  Since the mechanism to obtain the passenger is to as quickly as possible grasp the orders be as nearest as possible to the passenger, there is a fierce competition among the drivers. So, to obtain more passengers, they have to stand by in a crowded place where is potential enough that the passengers likely will order a ride. While, there are of course other drivers waiting for passengers as well. Some of them, then, come up with that fraudulent behavior: make use of that bald-headed mischievous “thief”.

Actually, I keep on thinking of the moment when a Go-Jek driver got mad of me last night. That’s why I write this post. I ordered a ride with Go-Jek app in the late night. I suspected the driver was deceiving his real location with the “tuyul”. I just didn’t want to wait longer for the pick-up, because I saw weirdness, then. I threatened him by telling –via chat in the app– that I would cancel the order. I didn’t know that the cancellation was a big deal for him.

That naive-ness drove me crazy all this day, and I quite worry if the driver may take revenge of me. I keep on thinking why on earth I got so sick of fraudulent. But of course I don’t know whether that driver using “tuyul” or not. It’s just my own prejudice. O God, forgive me!

I just didn’t understand either, why that driver got very mad of me due to that threat. I understand that it’s been late, and yeah, life is hard. Actually though, I still want to take ride and continue my order, if he arrive no longer than I was worry of. But, let bygones be bygones. And let it be a lesson for me. I’m really sorry, bro, if you read this.


Let’s talk about the fraud again, and why I got so sick of it. I think, such fraud is unfair, isn’t it? Not only for passengers, but also for other drivers. Think of it! The passenger who orders a ride, would wait for pick-up much longer, if the real location of driver is fake. And for other drivers, honest one, who don’t use fraudulent and still want to stand-by in the real location, even it’s in the sun and sweating, they are cheated by their own fellows. It’s so painful, you know.

I remembered the lecture of Sharia Micro-Economics in the last week. The lecturer, Pak Hafidz told us about barakah (blessings) as an aspect to achieve maslahah (welfare, benefit) in Islamic economics.1 The formulation of maslahah is:

M = Π + B

where M is Maslahah, Π (Pi) is total revenue (in terms of production), B is Barakah (you may read another formulation interpretation in the footnote2)

It’s reasonable that everyone wants to maximize the income / revenue of his/her work or production. And it’s legal, as long as it’s conducted in a correct way. Islam also encourage us to take maximum advantage in the production or selling. But, Islam has some guidelines and rules to achieve that: maslahah.

Everyone can gain the maximum revenue, in any way. But if it doesn’t include barakah, then it would not achieve maslahah. Instead, it may cause harmful impact. Just like the “tuyul” we are talking about.

It can’t be denied that if we apply barakah, it would increase total cost or effort. For instance, the innocent Go-Jek drivers would need more efforts and sacrifice, i.e to stand by waiting for passenger, perhaps in a uncomfortable place as well. But they would not do harm to other drivers as well as passengers. They don’t grabbed other drivers’ rights, and the passengers don’t need to wait any longer for pick-up. And “tuyul” is in contrast.

However, it’s the reality, that there are many people do fraud for the sake of their personal gain. They don’t take into account from where their money come from. May God gives them guidance. And may you and I always have baraka in every our activities.

  1.  http://1000daya.blogspot.co.id/2010/11/role-of-maslahah-in-defining-goals-of.html 
  2.  http://makalahegi.blogspot.co.id/2012/09/mencari-maslahah-dengan-ekonomi-syariah.html 

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