Transport Ministry officially takes charge of p-hailing industry

PUTRAJAYA: The p-hailing industry will be officially placed under the purview of the Transport Ministry to ensure better regulation of food and goods delivery services, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said the ministry has managed and regulated the ehailing industry since 2019 but this did not cover food delivery riders.

“On Aug 5, the Cabinet gave the green light to the Transport Ministry and its agencies, namely the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board of Sabah and Sarawak, to regulate the goods delivery business, especially those using motorcycles (p-hailing services).

“For the purposes of regulation, the Cabinet has agreed that amendments be made to the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333), the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Act 1987 (Act 334) and the Land Public Transport Act 2010 (Act 715),” Dr Wee told a press conference after a dialogue here with p-hailing industry players.

He said the amendments to the three Acts are expected to be tabled at the next Parliament meeting.

Among others, Dr Wee said the proposed amendments would establish new licensing rules as well as ensure that insurance protection was given to delivery riders and drivers.

Last Friday, frustrated delivery riders held a one-day strike to protest low delivery fees and other woes.

Two-way engagement: Dr Wee talking to p-hailing industry players after a dialogue in Putrajaya.                        — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The StarTwo-way engagement: Dr Wee talking to p-hailing industry players after a dialogue in Putrajaya. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

Following the protest, a meeting was scheduled yesterday between the Transport Ministry, several delivery rider associations and vendors.

“During the dialogue session with p-hailing riders, ehailing drivers as well as ehailing operators, I heard the issues raised by all parties.

“I noticed that there is a lack of communication on both sides. I call on the operators to constantly engage with riders and drivers to give a better understanding of company policies that have been implemented.

“Most importantly, I want the welfare of workers in the gig economy sector to always be prioritised because they are the driving force behind the country’s business and economy.

“They play a huge role to the public, sacrificing themselves by enduring both rain and heat to fulfil their responsibilities and provide services,” he said.

Dr Wee added that at the same time, it is necessary to ensure operators can continue to function and conduct business in a healthy manner because “it is a source of income for p-hailing riders and ehailing drivers”.

“The same is true of the interests of the public as consumers. If it involves cost or fares, it must be thoroughly researched and whatever price changes cannot be a burden to the user,” he said.

Among the groups present at the dialogue were the Malaysian P-Hailing Riders Association (Penghantar), Malaysia Food Delivery Association, Malaysian E-hailing Industry Workers’ Welfare Association, Grab Drivers Malaysia Association and Perak Motorcycle Delivery Service Welfare Association.

Dr Wee said under the proposed amendments, the minimum age of p-hailing riders would be reduced to 18 from the current 21, where they would be able to obtain a vocational licence.

“The amendment of the minimum age is to allow more riders who have a B2 motorcycle licence to obtain a vocational licence so they can become delivery riders.

“This will allow a bigger participation in the gig economy and more people can generate income through p-hailing services,” he said.

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