KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia risks being left behind other countries who are embracing the gig-economy if transportation services like Gojek are prevented from operating here, says Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
He said countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia made two-wheel transportation networks a platform to spur the digital economy in their countries.
“If we look at Thailand, they had the best e-commerce delivery system (in the region) before Grab bike service and Gojek joined... before the two (Grab and Gojek) came on board, they were handling about 10,000 packages a day but the number increased four-fold thereafter.
“This means small-scale entrepreneurs can enjoy the benefits because the e-commerce economy grows rapidly.
“If we go to Thailand, Indonesia or Vietnam, its people can order food at stalls to be delivered to their homes. We want this ecosystem because it can help the smaller players, ” he told Bernama yesterday.
Earlier, the minister was the special guest of the Concorde Club which discussed the Gojek issue.
Among those present were Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Star Media Group editorial adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai and chief content officer Esther Ng at Wisma Bernama.
The Concorde Club, initiated by Azman and Wong, is an informal gathering of journalists and opinion shapers with political and business leaders.
Syed Saddiq, who has been pushing for the Gojek service in Malaysia, said the two-wheel transportation service should be seen in a wider scope with diversified offerings like food and parcel deliveries and expanded to the digital economy overall.
“It is our responsibility to ensure the job ecosystem can be improved. It does not only involve two-wheel transportation, we need to look at it from food delivery, e-commerce delivery and many others.
“In terms of food delivery, in Malaysia now it is more towards established restaurants because of the lack of a good ecosystem where even a small stall in front of our house can participate in the informal economy via the digital economy, ” he added.
The Gojek service, which is huge in Indonesia, is not available in Malaysia yet. Currently the big
players in the country in this segment are Grab, Food Panda and dahmakan.
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