Act for cabbies’ Socso scheme to be in place next year

Richard Riot JaemKUALA LUMPUR: The new Self-Employment Act, which will be used to manage the Socso scheme for taxi drivers, will be in place next year.

Human Resources Minister Richard Riot Jaem said the Bill would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat in March.

“It is quite a straightforward Bill and should just take a month or two to be passed,” he told a press conference after officiating the rebranding of Socso here yesterday.

The rebranding entails a new logo, a transformation in Socso counter services and promotion of the existing protection schemes.

Riot said that once legislation was passed, self-employed taxi drivers and their families would receive the same social safety net protection as other Socso contributors.

When tabling the 2017 Budget on Friday, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Socso protection for self-employed taxi drivers earning up to RM3,000 a month and a launching grant of RM60 million for the facility.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said under the scheme, the taxi drivers would have to make contributions of between RM157 to RM443 a year, which is just RM13.08 at the lower end.

Meanwhile, Socso chief executive officer Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said they had activated their “Socso Caring Squad” to assess the appropriate compensation in the wake of the recent fire tragedy at the Intensive Care Unit of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru.

Six patients perished in the fire while three staff were hospitalised. The hospitalised staff are reported to be in stable condition.