Kota Kinabalu (Thursday) — The Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA), through a strategic collaboration with foodpanda, is offering employment opportunities in the delivery sector along with the provision of motorcycles for 300 successful applicants. Dubbed #BIZRIDER300, the programme is open to unemployed Sabahan youths aged 18–40 and living in urban areas, allowing them to boost their income.
Registration for the programme was open from June 24 until July 5, and the first 100 successful applicants were notified of their successful entry and invited to take receipt of the provided motorcycles at a ceremony held at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) on July 14, 2022. The handover ceremony was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji bin Haji Noor.
The increased national unemployment rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a sharp spike in the national poverty rate, particularly in Sabah. These challenges and difficult global economic conditions have resulted in rising prices of market goods as well as the cost of doing business. In response to these challenges, merchants have had to adapt their businesses to new norms, and adopt digitalisation in order to remain competitive. This has also resulted in the gig economy becoming a sector that recorded an increase in the composition of the working population, especially in the food and beverage services sector, as well as wholesale trade and retail services.
SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hashim Paijan explained that, in light of these developments, “that the #BIZRIDER300 programme had been designed to provide employment opportunities and increase income through the provision of assistance in the form of motorcycles, targeting the reduction of poverty especially among urban poor youth, as well as open up opportunities for the recipients to participate in the gig economy, especially in delivery services”.
Sayantan Das, Managing Director, foodpanda Malaysia says, “foodpanda is honoured to be the exclusive partner with SEDIA for this initiative, where we get to work hand in hand in supporting the Sabahan youths. We understand that the pandemic has affected many Malaysians and resulted in several economic challenges, and as such, we hope that this collaboration will help the 300 youths to generate more income as they join foodpanda as our delivery partners. Our goal is to continue to do what we can to help Malaysians get back on their feet again post pandemic.”
SEDIA — the main organiser of this programme — is entrusted as the One-Stop Authority to drive the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), with the primary responsibility to plan, co-ordinate, promote and accelerate the development of SDC. The SDC programme serves to enhance the quality of life of the people by accelerating the growth of Sabah’s economy, promoting regional balance and bridging the rural-urban divide while ensuring sustainable management of the state’s resources.
Initiatives implemented through SDC are currently guided by the SDC Blueprint 2.0 (2021–2030). Carrying the theme “Sustainable Growth with Equity and Social Inclusion”, the blueprint is a strategic plan that charts Sabah’s development till 2030, having appraised the progress made during the first SDC Blueprint and taking into account the opportunities and challenging economic environment going forward.
Through this blueprint, five Strategic Thrusts (STs) are prioritised due to their disproportionate impact on Sabah’s overall socio-economic development:
- Restructuring the Business and Industry Ecosystem;
- Spurring Key Economic Growth Areas;
- Transforming Human Capital;
- Improving Regional Inclusion; and
- Enhancing Environmental Sustainability.
#BIZRIDER300 is one such programme that drives the initiatives as laid out under ST3 (Transforming Human Capital). Among the initiatives under ST3 are:
- “Workforce of the Future” — Capacity of the current workforce is built through on-the-job training or reskilling/upskilling the unemployed and underemployed;
- “Workforce Expansion” — Increased participation of at-risk youth, women, people with disabilities and other vulnerable communities; and
- “Career and Talent Sabah” — Capture and report labour market information, connects employers and workers, and promotes work/training opportunities.
The SDC Blueprint 2.0 was finalised at an important juncture in Sabah’s development journey, amidst uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This blueprint is aligned with the Federal Government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030) and Keluarga Malaysia concept as well as the State Government’s Sabah Maju Jaya plan. Additionally, in line with Malaysia’s commitments towards responsible global citizenship, the SDC Blueprint 2.0 provides an opportunity to connect Sabah’s development priorities with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Continuing the legacy of the first blueprint, the SDC Blueprint 2.0 will ensure holistic development through economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable.