#UninstallFoodpanda movement afoot after minister’s nudge

Justin Ong
The Foodpanda logo is seen on delivery bikes in Petaling Jaya October 1, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Malaysian social media users are pushing each other to boycott the Foodpanda delivery service after a minister suggested consumer action to punish the “arrogant” firm.

#UninstallFoodpanda is currently the second-highest hashtag on Twitter in Malaysia, with users sharing screen captures of themselves removing the application from their devices.

Others purporting to be former Foodpanda delivery riders have also piggybacked on the hashtag to share their grouses and complaints with the service that amended its pay structure this month and caused its riders to strike.

Yesterday, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman signalled for a boycott of the firm after it announced that it was pushing ahead with the new scheme that some of its riders have likened to slave labour.

Today, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad distanced the federal government from his minister’s call by saying it was Syed Saddiq’s personal opinion.

Foodpanda switched to a purely delivery-based pay scheme this month and phased out the hourly pay that it previously offered its riders, causing some to claim this would more than halve their earnings.

Firms such as Foodpanda and Grab operate in a legal grey area as their delivery riders are considered “partners” or freelancers rather than employees and consequently do not have the usual legal safeguards of full-time workers.

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