Sticking with the current gig economy until something better comes around

PETALING JAYA: Despite the setbacks, those who joined the gig economy as food delivery riders after leaving school are planning to stick with it while they look for more stable jobs.

Full-time food delivery rider Muhammad Asyraf Shah, 22, said the flexible hours gave him the time to explore other long-term career opportunities while allowing him to financially support his family.

“As the oldest of four, I decided to work after SPM to ensure that my siblings can continue their education since our parents don’t earn a lot as factory workers,” he said during an interview.

“But after over four years of working as a food delivery rider, I want to try out other jobs, which, thanks to the flexible working hours, I am able to do,” he said.

Muhammad Asyraf, who currently earns around RM1,200 a month, recently started working as a part-time tour guide at a friend’s company.

It’s the same for 22-year-old Luqman Haqim, who after working as a food delivery rider for over four years, has now been forced to look for a side job due to constant financial concerns.

“I decided to work right after SPM as I was never really motivated to study,” he said.

“I was also worried that my dad’s job as a plumber would not be enough to support my studies and those of my two younger siblings.

“I work 12 hours a day and six days a week from 10am to 10pm to make RM100 a day, which is just barely enough for my daily and monthly expenses.

“It’s quite stressful as I have to be constantly aware throughout the whole 12 hours.

“But it’s a great way to earn money while I look for a job with a stable income,” said Luqman, who is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Construction worker Amin Rafiq Shaari, 22, said working as a food delivery rider was the only way he could make ends meet every month.

“I wasn’t confident in my ability to study, so I decided to join my group of friends who all became food delivery riders,” he said.

“But even after getting a construction job, I only earn around RM1,500 a month, so I still have to work as a food delivery rider to cover my living expenses in Kuala Lumpur,” he added.

Amin, who lives alone in a rented room for RM300 monthly, said he earns up to RM30 a day by working as a rider after coming back from his day job.

A 21-year-old rider, who only wanted to be identified as Ahmad, said he never planned to continue with his studies after SPM due to his family’s financial situation.

“I chose to work as soon as I completed my SPM.

“I had to work because my single mother is the sole breadwinner,” he said, adding that he has three siblings.

Ahmad previously worked as a shop assistant before entering the p-hailing industry.

He said it was thanks to his uncle’s financial aid that he was able to get his driving licence and a second-hand motorcycle for his job.

“Depending on the number of deliveries, I can earn up to RM1,800 a month.

“It is quite decent,” he said, adding that he had no plans for now to look for another job.

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