Ministry matters

The Ministry of Transport officially supports the p-hailing industry

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

The transport minister said the department had managed and regulated the email industry since 2019, but that did not cover food delivery people.

“On August 5, the Cabinet gave the green light to the Ministry of Transport and its agencies, namely the Public Land Transport Agency (Apad) and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board of Sabah and Sarawak, to regulate the activities delivery of goods, in particular those using motorcycles (mobile telephone services).

“For regulatory purposes, Cabinet has agreed that amendments be made to the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333), the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Commission Act 1987 (Act 334) and the Public Land Transport Act 2010 (Act 715),” Dr Wee said at a press conference after a dialogue here with players in the mobile phone industry.

He said amendments to the three laws should be tabled at the next meeting of parliament.

Among other things, Dr Wee said the proposed changes would establish new licensing rules and ensure insurance protection was given to delivery people and drivers.

Last Friday, frustrated delivery workers staged a one-day strike to protest low delivery charges and other misfortunes.

Following the demonstration, a meeting was scheduled yesterday between the Ministry of Transport, several delivery associations and sellers.

“During the dialogue session with p-hailing drivers, 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 operators to continuously engage with passengers and drivers to better understand the company policies that have been implemented.

“Most importantly, I want the well-being of workers in the gig economy sector to always be a priority, as they are the engine of business and the economy of the country.

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

Dr Wee added that at the same time, there is a need to ensure that operators can continue to operate and conduct their business in a healthy manner, as “it is a source of income for p-hailing drivers and ehailing drivers”.

“The same goes for the interests of the public as consumers. If it involves costs or tariffs, it should be thoroughly researched and any price change cannot be a burden on the user,” he said.

Groups present at the dialogue included 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 that under the proposed changes, the minimum age for p-hailing riders would be reduced to 18 from the current 21, where they could obtain a professional license.

“The change to the minimum age is to allow more riders with a B2 motorcycle license to obtain a professional license so that they can become delivery people.

“This will allow for greater participation in the gig economy and more people will be able to generate income through p-hailing services,” he said.