Foodpanda MY responds to #boycottfoodpanda and criticism from youth minister

Foodpanda Malaysia has come out to defend itself once again, after a press briefing to explain its new payment scheme to riders on Monday went awry. In a statement to A+M, a foodpanda MY spokesperson said the company was “disheartened” to see the boycott  after aspects of its statement at a press conference was taken out of context.

The company said that it is “confident” the new payment scheme will be beneficial to its customers, partners and especially its riders. Hence, it will continue to monitor the implementation of the scheme before deciding its next course of action.

Under the new payment scheme, riders outside the Klang Valley can no longer earn an hourly rate. However, their payment per order has increased to between RM4.50 and RM7, from RM3 to RM5 previously. An extra RM1 per order is also paid to riders between 11pm and 9am, and RM100 for completing 60 hours of work a week. The payment scheme remains unchanged in Kuala Lumpur, where riders are given a base pay of RM4 per hour.

The new scheme sparked a viral #boycottfoodpanda movement on social media and outraged users have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure, sharing screenshots of them uninstalling foodpanda app and the hashtag #boycottfoodpanda. Since the movement has gone viral, some users also pointed out that foodpanda has lost its spot as the top food delivery app on the app stores. App ratings too, seemed to have taken a hit, with many users sharing an influx of bad reviews.

Meanwhile, the company has also drawn criticism from youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq, who said Malaysians should support corporations which are fair to workers and consumers. Minister Syed said: “Arrogance is not the solution. Only support corporations which are fair to workers and consumers.”  Similar to how public servants such as himself are elected and can be punished by the people, Syed said corporations are also developed by its employees and users and can likewise, be dropped by them. This has prompted Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to clarify to the media that Syed’s opinion is “not the government’s stand” and has not been discussed in the Cabinet, according to The Star and CNA.

Approximately a week ago, responding to a recent strike about the new payment scheme implemented on 30 September, foodpanda Malaysia managing director Sayantan Das explained during the press conference that the company would maintain the​​​​​​​ payment scheme for at least four weeks before deciding on the next course of action, if needed. According to multiple media reports such as Malaysiakini and Free Malaysia Today, he said most riders have adopted the new scheme and for those who are unhappy, they are “free to explore job opportunities across other players in the market”. During the press conference, he also refuted reports that the new scheme would impact earnings negatively, stating that riders can earn up to 50% more, and who are not doing well can be “motivated to take more shifts”.

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