Upskilling Malaysia’s p-hailing drivers for future career transition
The Malaysian P-Hailing Riders Association (Penghantar) has urged the government to utilise the RM42 million (US$9.2 million) allocated to the Career Development Programme to establish entrepreneurship programmes for riders in the country.
According to Zulhelmi Mansor, President of Penghantar, this move is crucial to equip the majority of low-earning youths involved in the p-hailing service with the necessary knowledge and skills that enables them to explore opportunities beyond being p-hailing delivery riders.
Acknowledging the potential of the gig and p-hailing industry in ensuring their future, Zulhelmi stressed the importance of expanding their knowledge and experience through relevant programmes. He pointed out that many fifth-form secondary students are now opting for gig economy work instead of pursuing higher education, driven by the unstable economic situation both in Malaysia and the world, coupled with the need to earn a salary to meet the costs of living.
“We hope the aid announced by the government can be channelled to other skills programmes, which may help us to produce entrepreneurs from among p-hailing employees,” he said.
The recent Madani Economy: Empowering the Rakyat initiative, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, allocated RM42 million to upskill informal sector employees, including gig employees with secondary qualifications and below. Additionally, the government pledged RM100 million (US$21.9 million) to expand the social protection network, which will provide an 80% grant to support Perkeso contributions for gig employees, reported New Straits Times.
Zulhelmi emphasised the need for p-hailing operators to ensure that their riders are registered and actively contributing to the Social Protection Scheme for Self-Employed (SKSPS). This measure would provide coverage for riders in the event of any unfortunate incidents.
“If they don’t have SKSPS contributions or if contributions are inactive, p-hailing operators should temporarily suspend the p-hailing riders’ ID and ensure they have Work Disaster Social Protection for the sake of their welfare and dependents,” he said. “And if p-hailing riders are confirmed to be without SKSPS contributions or if their contributions are inactive, the operators should face action.”