Give bike ride-hailing a chance


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019

THE motorcycle ride-hailing service could be one of the solutions to our youth unemployment problem, but proper guidelines must be drawn up before it is implemented.

The job may not be the sort we were hoping for, but it would be an honest way to earn a living for many who have only completed secondary schooling.

We have been told that the B40 population earns less than the median income of RM3,000. Thus, in a country of 32 million where 70% are aged above 15 years, that would mean about nine million in the B40 group.

By right, factories and plantations would have a huge pool of workers to draw from this group, but due to the perceived 3D (dirty, dangerous and demeaning) nature of these industries, employers in these sectors are forced to hire foreign labour instead.

How then do we feed such a large number of citizens every year? A job in hand would mean money in the pocket and stomachs will not go hungry.

Hungry stomachs make for distraught citizens who would be easier to manipulate in a nation that’s seeing a rise in race and religious rhetoric.

With a job to handle, our young citizens would comply with the rules, accept responsibilities and learn time management and other related life skills such as managing their income.

With a job to do, many would have less time to idle, and we would have more productive citizens and fewer social problems among the young.

The money they earn and spend on their daily necessities would help to drive the general economy of the country.

We sorely need this internal stimulus to the economy because economists are forecasting a technical recession in 2020 due to uncertainties and the effects of the trade war between China and the United States.

The motorcycle ride-hailing service would provide the last-mile connectivity for young school leavers, retail assistants, F&B workers, clerical staff, factory workers and blue collar workers for whom owning a car is not an option.

The safety aspects and unruly behaviour of some motorcyclists can be sorted out through proper implementation and strict enforcement of laws governing the service.

Let’s give this proposal a chance to see the light of day.

At the very least, it affirms the government’s commitment to addressing some of the issues affecting its citizens, especially those in the B40 group who are struggling to survive in urban areas. Many of them would have migrated from their rural hometown because they could not find employment locally.

LYNN TEO

Kuching

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