In a Facebook posting, the prime minister said he would discuss with the relevant ministries several issues raised by Grab drivers and delivery riders concerning the difficulty in getting loans and government assistance like petrol subsidy.
He said most of them expressed their concerns on the Temporary Handlers’ Licence (LPS) regulation and guidelines on delivery service for food, drinks and packages or p-hailing which the Transport Ministry (MOT) reportedly planned to introduce soon.
“I will ask MOT to review this matter as soon as possible,” he said.
Describing this group as uncelebrated frontliners, Muhyiddin said he was proud of the spirit and dedication shown by them to earn a living to keep life going for their family, especially when the country is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prime minister appreciated the big contributions of Grab drivers and delivery riders in helping to generate the country’s economy.
Muhyiddin said they were not only earning a living but also helping to expand the economic chain of traders.
“Listening to their grouses, I realised that most of them are waiting for opportunities to get better and more stable jobs. However, they did not stay idle; they became Grab drivers/riders to at least help sustain their families.
“Some of them work more than eight hours a day. Many also became full-time drivers or riders after losing their regular jobs,” he said.
The prime minister said they used to earn between RM4,000 and RM5,000 a month before the outbreak of Covid-19 but could now earn only RM2,000 to RM2,500 a month or even less, depending on the frequency of their trips.
“Nowadays if they can get RM100 a day they can smile, but if they get RM150 a day they can afford a big smile,” he added.
Muhyiddin said he also had the opportunity to meet a Persons With Disabilities (OKU) couple — Siti Fatimah and her husband Nijaz Nathan Vellasamy — who did not let their handicap prevent them from making a living.
Muhyiddin said he was given to understand that there are more than 200 OKU drivers operating the Grab service.
“They asked the government to support OKU drivers by simplifying the terms for obtaining Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence which are said to be very tight, and to enable them to work like other e-hailing drivers,” he said.
Muhyiddin advised the drivers and delivery riders to take care of their own safety when going about their work and to not give up easily when confronted with challenges. — Bernama