KUALA LUMPUR: Some 40 Grab drivers are crying foul at the rideshare company, claiming their accounts have been terminated or deactivated without notice.
They expressed their dissatisfaction and want an explanation from Grab Malaysia.
The group's spokesman Dominic Koh said they received at least 50 such complaints from members in the Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan and Johor.
"Many of them only found out they had been suspended or terminated permanently when they called in to check why they have not been receiving any 'pings' for passengers.
"They mostly had no idea why they were suddenly given such treatment. When they tried to appeal, some were denied and some were only told to wait for investigations with no time frame given.
"Is this fair? How do they expect the drivers to survive with no source of livelihood for an indefinite period of time?" he said, adding that one of the members was suspended for almost two years.
Suspecting that his suspension was due to a bad review by a passenger, a Grab driver who only wanted to be known as Kong said he should be given a chance to explain.
"Sometimes, I pick up really difficult passengers and until now, I still cannot pinpoint which case that led to me being terminated 18 months ago," said Kong, who has been taking odd jobs to support his family.
He was speaking at a press conference organised by MCA Civil Society Coordination Bureau chief Ng Kian Nam here Friday (May 31).
Also present were Penggerak Malaysia E-Hailing Drivers Community (KPePM) national chairman Zulkefli Zainuddin and Penggerak Malaysia Defender Council chairman Mohd Hezri Izmir Shahril.
Koh noted that Grab Malaysia should improve its customer account management system to create a safer working environment for drivers.
He said stricter verification should be implemented, as a foreign mobile numbers from the United States was allowed to register as passengers.
"This gives room for criminals because the passenger's identity is untraceable," he said, adding that it should change following recent cases of e-hailing drivers being injured and killed while on the job.
Zulkefli also called on Grab Malaysia to improve its SOS button for drivers, as the existing one requires drivers to go through too many steps before help is rendered.
Ng said it was unfair for the drivers to be suspended or terminated without investigation or evidence proving their wrongdoings, if any.
"Such practices violate natural justice, constitutes wrongful dismissal and gravely impacts the livelihood of drivers and their families.
"We will issue a demand letter to the rideshare company for an explanation," he said, adding that the bureau has also set up a new task force focusing on protecting the rights of e-hailing drivers in Malaysia.
Ng said that rideshare companies should assume duties as employers to protect the welfare of drivers.
"We should emulate some of the United Kingdom and European countries, where e-hailing drivers are considered as employed by their rideshare companies.
"This enables them to enjoy certain rights and privileges under Malaysian employment and labour law," Ng added.
When contacted, Grab Malaysia communications manager Regina Robin said the company "did not ban or suspend (drivers) without reason."
"We monitor our drivers very stringently," she said, adding that the affected drivers should reach out to the company via the Grab Driver Center.
''We will look into this,'' she added.
This article has been amended to reflect that the issue was raised by a group of drivers and not a registered association.