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Syed Saddiq's call for Foodpanda boycott not discussed in Cabinet: PM Mahathir

Syed Saddiq's call for Foodpanda boycott not discussed in Cabinet: PM Mahathir

Foodpanda Malaysia introduced a new payment scheme for its delivery riders. (File photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government does not share the same view as Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who called for consumers to punish Foodpanda delivery service, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday (Oct 8).

The Cabinet had not discussed the matter, he added. 

“It was Syed Saddiq’s personal opinion. He may have had a reason for making the statement,” he told reporters at the Parliament building.

"This is not the government's stance," Dr Mahathir added. 

Foodpanda is in dispute with some of its delivery riders over a new payment scheme. 

Mr Syed Saddiq, in criticism of Foodpanda, had earlier said on Twitter that consumers can "take down" arrogant businesses, just as they could vote out elected representatives. 

"Arrogance is not the solution. Only support corporations which are fair to workers and consumers," he wrote.

Beginning Sep 30, riders outside the Klang Valley no longer earn an hourly rate, though their payment per order has increased to between RM4.50 and RM7, from RM3 to RM5 previously.

An extra RM1 per order is paid to riders between 11pm and 9am, and a RM100 incentive for completing 60 hours of work a week.

In Kuala Lumpur, where 70 per cent of the 13,000 riders nationwide operate, a base pay of RM4 per hour is still given to riders, while the per order rate stays between RM3 and RM5.

The new payment scheme has prompted some of its riders to go on strike.

Hundreds of deliverymen turned up at Mr Syed Saddiq's house last Tuesday for a dialogue on the latter's invitation. 

Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman met Foodpanda deliverymen at his house on Oct 1, 2019. (Photo: Facebook/Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman)

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On Monday, Foodpanda Malaysia managing director Sayantan Das that the company would maintain the​​​​​​​ payment scheme for at least four weeks before deciding on the next course of action, if needed.

He said initial data show a good proportion of riders are earning more than before.

"Contrary to what has been reported, the new scheme actually gives performing riders a chance to earn more, up to 50 per cent more, and those not performing as well are motivated to take more shifts to get a bigger piece of the pie," said Mr Das.

"Most of the riders have actually adopted the new scheme. However, for the unhappy riders, they are free to stay at Foodpanda but they are also free to explore job opportunities across other players in the market."

He added that a strike initiated before the scheme was implemented involved less than 1 per cent of riders, and thus did not disrupt operations.


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