A GrabFood delivery rider’s purported plight in the wake of the ban on Personal Mobility Device (PMD) use on public footpaths has gone viral on social media.
Following a spate of PMD-related accidents, the Government announced last week that all e-scooters will be banned from public footpaths. Those who flout the ban will face fines of up to S$2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three months, after a grace period ends on 31 Dec.
The abrupt ban, which went into effect the day after it was announced, caused intense dissatisfaction among those who use PMDs and hundreds of food delivery riders, who use their PMDs to deliver food and make a living, met with parliamentarians seeking an alternative solution.
Last Wednesday (6 Nov), the day after the PMD ban went into effect, a netizen claiming to be a GrabFood delivery rider named M Siva lamented that he will be facing a severe loss of income due to the PMD ban. He shared his story on the SG Confessions Facebook page and his post quickly went viral, with over 3,000 reactions, nearly 6,000 shares and 1,500 comments.
Mr Siva wrote that he is an Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduate who previously worked in an office job where he earned a monthly salary of S$2,200. He was entitled to three days’ medical leave and was not eligible for 13th month bonus or any other bonus at his previous job.
Last year, he decided to become a GrabFood delivery rider and went on to earn $3,500 each month by making food deliveries with his PMD. The netizen wrote:
“I am an ITE graduate who previously work in office job, it paid me $2,200 every month, no 13th month, no bonus, 3 days MC. Since Grabfood come along, with my trusty PMD, I earn $3,500 every month. Now overnight, my PMD is illegal and I cannot use it for daily work.”
Since he started earning higher pay with GrabFood, Mr Sva apparently thought it was a good time to start a family with his wife, who brings home a monthly salary of S$2,000. The couple had a baby and bought a S$250,000 Built-to-Order (BTO) flat in Choa Chu Kang.
Claiming that the sudden income drop due to the PMD ban will negatively impact his family’s financial situation, since their expenses have gone up with a new baby, Mr Siva lamented:
“With my $3,500 salary, I thought it was good time to start family, I can provide for my baby. Combine with my wife $2000 salary, we buy $250,000 BTO in CCK.
“Now my income suddenly become zero, if I go back old job, it drop by $1,300 every month, I have baby that need diaper, need milk powder, need infant care, now my expense is more than my income.”
Noting that he followed all of the Government’s rules and regulations on PMD usage and that he never had any altercation with a pedestrian in the two years he has used a PMD, Mr Siva asked how he can manage his daily expenses with the PMD ban that curtails him from making a better living:
“Govt ask me to buy certified UL2272 PMD, I support and follow. Govt ask me be careful while riding on the footpath, I careful. Never hit anyone or get into argument before in my 2 year as PMD rider.
“Govt tell me to register PMD, I register. Govt ask me to have stable proper job, I found one. Govt ask me to have children, I agree and have kid.
“I do everything you ask me to, but you still ban me from doing my job, a good job that pay me well. Now my children childcare fee how? Now their daily expense how? Overnight my salary cut by 30%, how can I be a good father to raise my children responsibly?
“I want to be good citizen and help the country by being employ [sic] and by having children. I want to help my country, but now my country don’t want to help me.”
Asserting that he is paying the price for those who ride PMDs irresponsibly, Mr Siva added: “Tell me what I should do now? With one speech now my income drop so much, if I am irresponsible rider, u penalty me I nothing to say. I am safe delivery rider but I pay price for those YP black sheep.
“How I face my wife now, how I tell my children I cannot bring them go out enjoy some family excursion? Sad to be a loyal Singaporean. I want to be loyal but there is no care for me.”
While it is unclear whether this Mr Siva really exists, since the SG confessions page does not link to his Facebook profile or provide any proof that the netizen is a real person, his story seems to have struck a chord with thousands of Singaporeans.