Sunday, September 22

Cabbies, e-hail drivers urged to register with Socso by end-July or risk facing stern action

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Philip (seated, fourth left) and Socso Miri enforcement chief Neili Stephen on his left join the participants of ‘Program Seranta Perkeso 2019’ in a group photo.

MIRI: Taxi drivers, car rental operators and e-hailing drivers who fail to register with the Social Security Organisation (Socso), under the Self-Employment Social Security Act (Act 789), by this July 31 are at risk of being served with compounds or even stiff legal action.

Socso Sarawak director Philip Sangkan said on July 1, Socso launched ‘Ops Pemutihan’, serving to facilitate full and part-time drivers to register with Socso – as at July 18, a total of 1,342 drivers in Sarawak had registered.

“Until June this year, there are 807 drivers who have registered with us, since the Act came into effect on June 1, 2017. Upon starting ‘Ops Pemutihan’, the number rose to 1,342 drivers, which is a very good sign.

“However, I believe there are more drivers in this state who have yet to register (with Socso); thus I urged to them to register by July 31, or we would have to take further action such as issuing compounds of up to a maximum of RM5,000,” he told reporters after launching the ‘Program Seranta Perkeso 2019’ at a hotel here yesterday.

According to Philip, there are only 227 drivers who have registered with Socso Miri, and they comprise 79 taxi drivers, 76 Grab drivers, 65 bus drivers, one car rental driver and six other e-hailing drivers.

He pointed out that his enforcement team would begin taking action against those who failed to register with Socso from Aug 1 this year, and once the enforcement commenced, the offenders could be fined an amount not exceeding RM10,000 or face jail time of not more than two years, or both, upon conviction.

Through this scheme under the Act, Socso provides protection to self-employed insurers from job disasters including occupational hazards and accidents while on the job.

“Among the benefits provided are medical benefits, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, constant-attendance allowance, dependent benefits, funeral benefits, educational loan benefits and physical rehabilitation facilities,” he added.

Seventy participants took part in the programme yesterday including Miri City School Buses Association chairman Penghulu Samad Alip, Miri Taxi Association chairperson Dieng Kua Li, Marudi Taxi Association chairperson Aria Ulam Turan, Miri Executive Taxi Association chairperson Michael Yii Jong, Mohamad Dzulkarnain Hashim and Sean Wong Sien Bin from GrabCar Miri, as well as local community leaders Penghulu Randi Elon and Penghulu Adam Bujang.

The main objective of ‘Program Seranta Perkeso 2019’ was to enable participants to know more about the benefits available by registering with Socso and why they should register with the social security organisation.

“These participants are the ‘bridge’ that would disseminate the information that they have gained from this programme to others, so that the rest would follow suit in registering with Socso, knowing the benefits that it has,” said Philip.