[UPDATE]Police disputes media reports that two-thirds of motorcycle deaths during MCO are pHailing riders

[ UPDATE 22/04/2021 14:00 ]: The Ministry of Transport has issued a statement to clarify on the reported number of motorcycle fatalities. The statement said media reports of 1,684 pHailing riders were killed during the MCO last year was a misinterpretation. The two-thirds reference was not specifically referring to pHailing riders but road fatalities involving motorcyclists in general. They have shared a recording of Dr Wee Ka Siong’s conversation to the media on 9th April which you can view from the 0:23 mark.

The Ministry of Transport has urged the public not to share screenshots of previous media reports which included the misreported numbers. They have also shared an infographic on accidents involving pHailing riders.


The Royal Malaysia Police’s traffic investigation and enforcement department has issued a statement to clarify on the statistics of motorcycle fatalities involving delivery riders (also known as pHailing riders). This is in response to media reports quoting Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong saying that two-thirds of 2,576 motorcyclists died during the 9 months of MCO last year are pHailing riders.

According to the police, the number of deaths involving motorcyclists has dropped by 21% from 3,959 in 2019 to 3,118 in 2020. For pHailing related accidents, there’s 1 death and 5 light injuries reported in 2019. However for 2020, they have recorded an increase with 17 deaths, 10 serious injuries and 64 light injuries.

The earlier alleged two-thirds of motorcycle deaths involving pHailing riders (reported 1,684 individuals) is about 100x more than the actual figure provided by the police. Based on the statistics from the police, 0.54% of motorcycle fatalities involved pHailing riders in 2020.

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The police has advised all parties not to issue any statements without referring to the official source released by the police department. It said that the wrong information may cause confusion when it is viewed by other parties in the future.

Dr Wee Ka Siong has recently shared that the government is looking at having regulatory body to protect riders in the pHailing industry which involves about 100,000 people. He said his ministry is raising the government’s proposal to make SOCSO a requirement for gig workers which will require a monthly contribution of RM13.10 to get basic protection under the social security scheme.


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Alexander Wong