‘TONGKAT MENTALITY’ SYED SADDIQ GETS TOO HOT FOR MAHATHIR TO HANDLE: ‘YOUNG & UNPROFESSIONAL’ MINISTER LAMBASTED FOR CALLING FOODPANDA ARROGANT OVER ITS NEW PAY SCHEME – EVEN AS DR M FORCED TO QUICKLY ASSURE IT’S NOT THE GOVT’S BUSINESS TO INTERFERE IN PRIVATE FIRMS – JUST TO HELP SYED SADDIQ BURNISH HIS EMBRYONIC POLITICAL STANDING

SOME consumers have uninstalled the Foodpanda app after Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman called the food-delivery firm “arrogant”, while others reprimanded the cabinet’s youngest member for interfering in the private sector.

The mixed reactions come after the youth and sports minister slammed Foodpanda following its refusal to revert to its old wage system for riders.

Several Twitter users, who said they have gotten rid of the mobile phone app, shared a link to a Malaysiakini report, headlined “Kalau awak tak mahu kerja, kami OK, kata bos” (If you don’t want to work, we are OK, says boss), on yesterday’s presser by Foodpanda managing director Sayantan Das, who said it is up to riders to decide whether to stay with the company.

Sayantan said the decision to implement a new payment system was made based on data gathered by the firm, adding that it can help deliverymen earn more.

Naysayers, however, called the company “delusional” and urged a boycott of its services.

But the harshest criticism was reserved for Syed Saddiq, with Twitter users reaming him out for poking his nose into private sector matters.

“(This) sets a dangerous precedent and will scare investors away,” said a tweet by the “Our Malaysia” account, which tagged Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali and the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

“(A) young and unprofessional minister… you need to learn more… not bulldoze,” said one Ayumazlan.

Twitter users have told off 'inexperienced' Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for wading into the Foodpanda payment system issue. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 8, 2019.
Twitter users have told off ‘inexperienced’ Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for wading into the Foodpanda payment system issue. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 8, 2019.

Azwan “Roy” Omar advised Syed Saddiq not to “go into places he shouldn’t”.

“(Don’t) unnecessarily provide leadership oversight over ‘private sector’. You can kiss goodbye your ‘ease of doing business’ and FDI targets.”

Vivek V., meanwhile, said whether to boycott Foodpanda should be left to consumers to decide, adding that the government has no right to meddle in a private company’s operations.

“Govt intervention should come at (the) policy level and the market will balance itself,” said the Twitter user adding: “Syed Saddiq, go finish your MBA. Inexperienced.”

Several others echoed the sentiment, saying Putrajaya should regulate frameworks instead. Some urged for Foodpanda’s viability to be determined purely by market demand and supply, pointing out that the company has not violated labour laws.

There were those who questioned Syed Saddiq’s attempt at becoming a “hero”, highlighting his lack of experience in business and management.

“I do feel Syed Saddiq is just playing to the crowd rather than looking at things from both side(s). It’s #gigeconomy… if riders don’t want to work… plenty of other riders out there willing to replace (them),” tweeted Michael Yip.

The “SiamLaksa” account called attention to the irony in the Pakatan Harapan administration’s bid to get Foodpanda to reinstate its previous wage scheme, when the new system pays workers based on their performance.

“(Under) the previous Foodpanda (payment) scheme, you can laze around and still collect RM4 an hour. The new scheme is based on performance. (Yet,) the government wants Foodpanda to revert (to the) old scheme,” said the tweet, with the hashtag “#tongkatmentality”.

Foodpanda’s affairs not govt business, says Dr Mahathir

FOODPANDA’S issues are not the government’s business, and it was not discussed by cabinet members, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Distancing himself from Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s remarks on the current dispute between Foodpanda riders and its management, Dr Mahathir said that was the minister’s personal opinion.

“He did not discuss it in the cabinet meeting. It’s not the government’s position and that is not the government business.

“Perhaps he has his own reasons for the statement,” said Dr Mahathir at the Parliament lobby today.

Although, the minister did not mention the company, he had meetings with Foodpanda riders who claimed the company had been unfair in its new remuneration scheme.

Riders have alleged that the new scheme would halve their earning potential.

The company, however, argued that the new system would lead to higher revenue for riders based on their daily deliveries.

Last week, Syed Saddiq hosted Foodpanda and Grabfood riders at his home in Petaling Jaya after the first group began protesting nationwide against the new pay structure.

He said after the meeting that cabinet would be looking into the matter and had urged Foodpanda to retain its previous pay scheme to safeguard rider welfare.

the malaysian insight

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