Gig economy needs to be liberalised and promoted, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir says too much control on the gig activities will make things difficult and hamper the development of the economy

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by ARIF KARTONO

THE government needs to strike a balance between regulating business activities within the gig economy and promoting its overall growth.

Former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said too much control on the gig activities would make things difficult as it would hamper the development of the economy.

He said the ease of communications has enabled the gig economy to flourish, but the government may lose some tax revenue due to the borderless transactions happening within the industry.

“Now, people can buy something from another country, but the businesses are not in Malaysia. That is the issue where the government may lose taxes from those transactions,” he said in a virtual SEA Connect Creative Conference 2020 yesterday.

Gig economy involves freelancers or contract workers who are not attached to any company and get paid on a job basis, for instance, food delivery riders.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysians should be able to be proactive and generate income even when they are bound to stay at home due to movement restrictions that had been induced by Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said he still wants to share his years of experience in leadership to the country to achieve the Vision 2020 if the people allow him.

Dr Mahathir, who was the fourth and seventh PM, said Malaysia should pursue being a developed country in the next five to 10 years, as initially envisioned for 2020, with a greater emphasis on good governance, habit and environmental sustainability.

“I had been a PM for 22 years. I have obtained a lot of experience. I want to give back that experience to this country if people allow me.

“But of course, if they don’t allow me, I can’t do anything. I can contribute to the development of this country to achieve Vision 2020,” he added.

The Langkawi MP said Malaysia can act a lot more on climate change, including the implementation of better waste management system, as well as controlled plastic usage to develop the country in a more sustainable manner while protecting the environment for future generations.

On a separate matter, he said Malaysia has been adopting a policy of being friendly to all countries, including the US or China, to gain market access.

With America under Joe Biden’s administration, he said Malaysia as a trading nation remains with its attitude to avoid participating in conflicts and not siding with either the US or China.