New phenomenon of hawkers and food delivery riders spreading all over Malaysia amidst the pandemic and lack of job opportunities

One of the street hawkers selling food and drinks at a traffic light intersection in Cheras ( March 21 2021). Photo: Malaysia World News (MWN).

The phenomenon of hawkers and food delivery riders for Foodpanda and GrabFood has spread all over the cities in Malaysia, especially in the capital of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Since I came here, for fifteen years, my neighborhood streets have been known for its calmness and cleanliness. In recent months, all the physical roads to my exclusive neighborhood became full of street vendors, selling all sorts of food, drinks and fruits along the side roads.

I used to see flowers and trees and grass along all the roads leading to my domicile, but now they are being replaced by food stalls made of pop-up gazebos, vans and old catering tables.

And you’ll be overwhelmed by the endless choices of cuisines and food streets as Ramadan approaches.

There are also several young guys installed in different road junctions, standing in the heat to sell some food and products to car drivers stopping at the traffic lights.

hawkers food panda
Group of food delivery riders waiting order in front of a mamak restaurant. MWN

But the most noticeable increasing phenomenon now is the FoodPanda and Grabfood delivery motorbikes. Almost in front of every restaurant you will find many young people in their online food delivery uniforms, between the ages of 25 and 30, lining up in front of restaurants and food stalls waiting an order or ordering food to deliver to customers.

Through a quick search, it became clear that this phenomenon has increased among unemployed youth since Coronavirus crisis started, which has crushed the country’s economy and increased the spread of unemployment in Malaysia.

Foodpanda delivery biker taking order from a mamak restaurant – Photo:MWN

Suhaimi, 24, who is currently studying a bachelor degree in business management while doing part time job as a food delivery biker for Foodpanda said he does not want to burden his parents to support him financially while he is still studying.

“I am glad to do this job and be able to support myself financially.”

Asked how much money he can earn daily from this job, he said,” if I work hard, up to 10 hours a day, i can earn RM100 per day.”

However, he added, those senior Foodpanda delivery bikers can earn more, up to RM200 per day, but it depends on “your performance and working hours.”

We also learned from Suhaimi, who we met in Mamak restaurants, that there are so many graduates, even with masters and PhD, working nowadays as food delivery bikers for Foodpanda and Grabfood.

“Most of them have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and also due to lack of job opportunities.

” Some of them doing this as part time job to earn extra money, as their salaries are not enough to hold their families or loans, ” he added.

Online food delivery services in Malaysia as in many other Asian countries have changed the way people order food. It’s convenient to order food online—no need to go out in the heat and traffic, or risk your life during the pandemic. You can just stay home and order your food online. It takes only few clicks on your smartphone to order from your favorite dishes, and they will be delivered to your home or office in few minutes.

GrabFood and Foodpanda have become two leading food delivery apps in the country, and they are giving jobs to so many young people, besides helping in delivering food to homes during this difficult time of the pandemic and lockdowns.


-Malaysia World News

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Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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