The cabinet has urged online food delivery company Foodpanda to reinstate its original payment scheme to ensure the welfare of their riders, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said.
Syed Saddiq said the government believes in free-market competition but it cannot be at the expense of the workers.
“After hearing the stories of both parties (Foodpanda management and the riders) I brought the issue to the cabinet today. The cabinet has suggested that Foodpanda reinstate the original payment scheme to ensure the welfare of the riders,” he said in a statement tonight.
Syed Saddiq said the government would look for ways to ensure a more competitive market for the players of the sector, especially when there are those who claim they control the market.
“For the long-term plan, the cabinet has also decided for the Youth and Sports Ministry, the Human Resources Ministry and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to form a special committee to delve deeper into the issue of gig economy.
“There are many young people who are full-time or part-time riders. They need full protection to supplement their income. We have to take responsibility to ensure their future is taken care of,” he said.
Yesterday, Syed Saddiq met with the management of Foodpanda in his office before holding a meeting at his residence to hear the complaints of Foodpanda riders.
He said Foodpanda also claimed that it had great market control and most of its riders, except those in Johor, had already agreed to the new scheme.
“This is inaccurate because riders from Penang and Negeri Sembilan are also opposed to Foodpanda’s decision," he said.
It was reported that about 200 Foodpanda riders staged a protest against the new payment scheme on Monday outside the company’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Yesterday, the Human Resources Ministry said in a statement that it would ensure a win-win situation between Foodpanda riders and their management over the company’s decision to revise its service fee, resulting in reduced payments for riders.