KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) is distributing 300 Modenas Kriss 110MF motorcycles to benefit youths throughout Sabah involved in the gig economy under the BIZRIDER300 initiative. 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor presented 100 motorcycles for the West Coast area at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) heretoday. 

The motorcycles would also be distributed in stages to youths in the east coast, under the initiative in collaboration with Delivery Hero Malaysia Sdn Bhd or Food Panda. 

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Hajiji said he welcomed the initiative as it would provide immediate employment to qualified recipients who would be hired as partner riders for Foodpanda. 

The initiative had received overwhelming response with 736 applications, exceeding the target of 300 allotted by Sedia. 

“In light of this, the Government will expand the programme so that more unemployed youths will get the opportunity,” he said. 

The Chief Minister said the BIZRIDER300 initiative was created because the State Government was worried about the poverty and unemployment rate among youths in Sabah. 

“Youths will never be marginalised. As the future generation, the development agenda for youths needs to be implemented based on the current requirements and future challenges. 

“That is why the Government is consistent in providing assistance and encouragement for them to be involved in the economy through various education initiatives, human capital development and in the business ecosystem,” he said. 

In this year’s State Budget, the government through the Youth and Sports Ministry has allocated RM10 million to implement a new initiative, the Skim Jaya Usahawan Belia Sabah (SYABAS) programme to assist young entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic apart from helping them to start their own businesses.

Earlier, Hajiji commended Foodpanda for providing job opportunities to the people registering over 5,000 throughout the state as its partners in food delivery. 

“I welcome such efforts by Foodpanda and other companies to expand their area of services including to the rural areas,” he said. 

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam, State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Sr. Haji Safar Untong, State Federal Secretary Dato’ Sarul Bahiyah Haji Abu, Sedia Chief Executive Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hashim Paijan and Delivery Hero (M) Sdn Bhd Managing Director Sayantan Das.