• SPAD should ensure a level-playing field between taxi and ehailing drivers and provide these drivers with proper protections and safeguards

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang and Liew Chin Tong, MP for Kluang on the 6th of July, 2017

    SPAD should ensure a level-playing field between taxi and ehailing drivers and provide these drivers with proper protections and safeguards

    With an estimated 37,000 taxi drivers and an estimated 60,000 Uber and Grab drivers in the Klang Valley, this form of public transportation not only provides a crucial service to consumers but also an important source of employment for the drivers themselves. As more and more Malaysians are joining the ranks of e-hailing drivers (GRAB and UBER), either on a part time or on a full-time basis, it is crucial for the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to ensure that there is a level playing field between the regular taxi drivers and the e-hailing drivers and also to ensure that the taxi and e-hailing drivers themselves are given proper protections and safeguards.

    In a web-based survey conducted in BM and in Chinese by the DAP Research team where we obtained close to 300 replies, we found that 40% of UBER and GRAB drivers are driving their vehicles on a full-time basis and another 53% are driving on a part time basis not as a hobby but as a job. In other words, most UBER and GRAB drivers surveyed depend greatly on their income as drivers. A significant proportion of the drivers surveyed – 64% – have at least a diploma which indicates that many with tertiary qualifications look at e-hailing as a viable form of employment. Furthermore, our survey found that 34% or about one-third of e-hailing drivers are based outside the Klang Valley. This number is likely to grow as UBER and GRAB expand to the cities and smaller towns outside KL and Selangor.

    The average monthly wages for full time drivers were estimated to be approximately RM3200. While this may seem like a decent amount of earnings, it does not take into account the maintenance cost of the vehicles which can average more than RM1000 a month. While e-hailing companies provides personal accident insurance for drivers and passengers, the car insurance and repairs cost are totally borne by the drivers themselves.

    75% of the drivers surveyed feel that the 20-25% commission rate charged by UBER / GRAB are unfair and more than 60% of drivers want the government to regulate the amount of commission which the e-hailing companies can charge. In addition, some drivers also feel that they have no avenues of appeal if they are suspended or banned by UBER / GRAB because of unreasonable complaints by customers. The cases of unfair suspensions will become more serious as the number of full time UBER / GRAB drivers increases, including those who have bought new vehicles for the purpose of becoming full time e-hailing drivers.

    While the proposed amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 are a step in the right direction, much more needs to be done including:

    (i)               Increasing the awareness of e-hailing drivers on the details of the amendments

    (ii)              Ensuring that the e-hailing market does not become a monopoly / oligopoly to the detriment of drivers and passengers

    (iii)            Regulating the commission rates which e-hailing companies can charge the drivers

    (iv)            Setting up a Tribunal to hear the appeals of e-hailing drivers who feel they have been unfairly banned / suspended by the e-hailing companies

    (v)              Ensuring that there is a level playing field between the taxi drivers and e-hailing drivers in terms of fares and wages.

    The end goal should be a market whereby taxi drivers as well as e-hailing drivers are properly compensated and the taxi companies and e-hailing companies cannot abuse their oligopolistic / monopolistic positions to mistreat the drivers and give passengers a bad service experience.

    Document: Self-Employed E-Hailing Services Drivers (SEEDs) Survey Findings (5 July 2017)

  • 马来西亚开放数据与有效制定政策

    马来西亚开放数据与有效制定政策

    本月初,在推介世界银行马来西亚经济追踪报告6月号的时候[1],负责东南亚市场的国家主任Ulrich Zachau呼吁政府为了更好的政策制定而必须向外界开放更多的数据[2] 他现场也提供了一个有关共享搭车运营商-GRAB如何与政府共享数据的例子,以便找到更好地管理车流量的方法。

    随着大数据的趋势与行为经济学的结合,世界各国政府都成立“助推”的机构,其具体目标是利用政策激励措施来改变民众的行为,并采用数据来分析这些政策的有效性。[3] 畅销书《助推/推力》作者-卡斯·桑斯坦恩(Cass Sunstein)也被奥巴马总统招揽,以在他的行政管理下推行其中一个助推单位,可说是在众多倡导这样的政策方法最为响当当的人物。

    虽然最近政策领导人和政治家常将“大数据”用作流行词,但是很多人仍不了解什么是大数据和如何发挥它的好处。事实上,许多领导人并没有意识到,尤其是在数据分析这方面,马来西亚数据生态系统的发展常被忽略。

    虽然各政府机构收集了大量的数据和信息,但并非向外界公布全部。世界银行的一项研究显示,在相对国内生产总值方面的数据开放程度,马来西亚的排名和表现都不尽理想[4] 世界银行的研究同样也显示了一个国家的数据开放程度与其国内学术界的出版和被引用的比率之间的相关性。一个国家的数据开放程度越高,学术刊物的数量就越多(请见下图4)。

    尤其是当需要更详细的数据,这与马来西亚许多学者在使用数据方面的经验相符。例如,虽然统计局通过家庭收入调查的渠道拥有国内每个人的数据,但却不向外界发布这些信息,以便更多学者能更详细地研究这些数据和发布其调查结果。若有关部门提出担心个人数据的隐私,我们其实也可通过匿名数据的方式来轻松对应隐私课题。

    即使某些数据在得以被发布的情况下,但是这些数据报告也是不便宜的。相比之下,美国十年人口普查的个人数据是向外界公布的,并成为社会科学家在学术研究和分析中非常有参考价值的工具。

    马来西亚最近也有采取一些措施来改善国内的数据生态系统。马来西亚数字经济机构(MDEC)正是推动特别是私人界多使用大数据的先锋。马来西亚行政现代化与管理规划单位(MAMPU)率先采取措施来收集政府的数据并发布在一个网站上(www.data.gov.my)。在最近世界银行的活动中,负责掌管经济规划单位的拉曼达兰(Rahman Dahlan)部长也呼吁开始收集涵盖以国会议席分类,更详细和草根性的国内数据。

    槟城州政府正在尽其所能,在data.gov.my发布州级别的详细数据,其中更列出了该州属下所有201家卖nasi kandar的地点[5] 槟城地理信息系统中心(PEGIS)的成立,也旨在让用户更易于访问地理信息系统和地图,其中包括允许企业在地图上面标记自己生意的位置,以及让骑脚车爱好者标记自己最喜爱的脚车跑道。[6]

    除了数据要开放之外,在培养也能够充分理解和分析大数据的知识型员工方面,马来西亚也远远落后其他国家。世界银行的分析显示,马来西亚统计下的劳动员工只有13.4%是位于“管理级别”,而反观发达经济体则为67.5%(请见下图)。

    为了建立更有利的数据生态系统,我们不仅需要更多的数据,而且还需要更多的人才好好使用数据和借此制定更好的政策。例如,数据科学家,学术界人士和社会工作者可以组成一个团队,好好地评估政府过去5年所派发一马援助金的有效性,并提出如何改进的方法。州政府可以利用WAZE里所提供的信息,以便更能及时地修马路坑洞[7]

    所以,当下一次再有政治家或政策领导人再高谈阔论大数据时,不如我们好好向他们请教如何曾经具体地分析和使用过这些数据来改善公共政策吧。

    王建民博士目前在吉隆坡的槟城研究机构担任总经理一职。如有任何疑问,大家可电邮至im.ok.man@gmail.com

    [1] http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/993771497248234713/Malaysia-economic-monitor-data-for-development

    [2] http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/agencies-be-compelled-share-data-after-statistics-law-review

    [3] http://www.economist.com/news/international/21722163-experimental-iterative-data-driven-approach-gaining-ground-policymakers-around

    [4] http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/886041494335634817/Open-data-differences-and-implications-across-countries

    [5] http://www.data.gov.my/data/ms_MY/organization/penang-state-government

    [6] http://pegis.penang.gov.my/story_map/sm_bicycletrails/

    [7] https://selangorkini.my/en/2016/10/smart-road-maintenance-report-using-waze/

  • Data terbuka dan penggubalan dasar di Malaysia

    (Artikel ini boleh dibaca di Kolumn Penang Institute in KL dalam Malaysian Insight, 26 Jun 2017)

    Semasa di pelancaran Malaysia Economic Monitor edisi Jun[1] awal bulan ini, Pengarah Negara Bank Dunia bagi Asia Tenggara, Ulrich Zachau, telah menggesa agar lebih data didedahkan supaya ianya boleh digunakan bagi menggubal dasar yang lebih baik.[2] Beliau telah menyebut contoh di mana GRAB, sebuah penyedia perkhidmatan e-hailing, berkongsi datanya dengan kerajaan demi mencari jalan untuk menguruskan keadaan lalu lintas dengan lebih cekap.

    Dengan kemunculan ‘big data’ ditambah dengan bidang ekonomi perilaku (‘behavioural economics’), ‘nudge unit’ (unit pendorong) telah ditubuhkan oleh kerajaan-kerajaan di seluruh dunia khususnya untuk menggunakan insentif dasar bagi mengubah tingkah laku dan menggunakan pendekatan berasaskan data bagi menganalisis keberkesanan dasar-dasar ini[3]. Cass Sunstein, pengarang bersama buku “Nudge” yang amat laris jualannya, telah direkrut oleh Presiden Obama untuk menjalankan sebuah ‘nudge unit’ di bawah pentadbirannya, dan mungkin adalah penyokong pendekatan dasar ini yang paling dikenali ramai.

    Walaupun istilah ‘big data’ seringkali digunakan sebagai istilah popular oleh penggubal dasar dan ahli politik, namun ramai tidak mengetahui apa sebenarnya ‘big data’ dan bagaimana ia boleh digunakan. Hakikatnya, ramai penggubal dasar sendiri tidak sedar bahawa ekosistem data di Malaysia, terutamanya berkenaan analisa data, sungguh kurang maju.

    Walaupun terdapat pelbagai agensi kerajaan yang mengumpul banyak data dan maklumat, namun tidak semua data tersebut diterbitkan. Satu kajian oleh Bank Dunia telah mendapati bahawa prestasi tahap keterbukaan data Malaysia berhubung dengan KDNKnya adalah kurang memuaskan.[4] Kajian yang sama juga menunjukkan hubungkait antara skor keterbukaan data sesebuah negara dengan nisbah penerbitan dan pemetikannya. Semakin tinggi skor keterbukaan data sesebuah negara, maka semakin tinggi bilangan penerbitan akademiknya (lihat Rajah 4 di bawah).

    Ini bertepatan dengan pengalaman ahli akademik di Malaysia dalam mengakses data terutamanya pada peringkat data yang lebih terperinci. Sebagai contoh, walaupun Jabatan Perangkaan mempunyai data tahap individu dalam Penyiasatan Pendapatan Isi Rumah, namun data tersebut tidak diterbitkan kepada awam yang akan membolehkan ahli-ahli akademik mengkaji angka-angka tersebut dengan lebih teliti lalu menerbitkan penemuan mereka. Kebimbangan tentang privasi data yang dikeluarkan dapat diatasi dengan mudah dengan menyembunyikan identiti individu data ini.

    Dalam kes di mana sesetengah data boleh didedahkan kepada awam, data ini biasanya dijual dengan harga yang mahal. Sebaliknya, data tahap individu daripada banci sepuluh tahunan Amerika Syarikat dikeluarkan kepada orang awam dan merupakan alat yang sangat berguna bagi saintis sosial yang boleh digunakan dalam penulisan dan analisa akademik mereka.

    Kebelakangan ini, terdapat beberapa usaha yang dilakukan bagi mempertingkatkan ekosistem data di Malaysia. Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) berada di barisan hadapan dalam memperjuangkan penggunaan ‘big data’ terutamanya di sektor swasta. Unit Pemodenan Tadbiran dan Perancangan Pengurusan Malaysia (MAMPU) sedang mempelopori inisiatif bagi mengumpulkan penerbitan data kerajaan secara berpusat di www.data.gov.my. Di acara Bank Dunia baru-baru ini, Rahman Dahlan, Menteri yang bertanggungjawab terhadap Unit Perancang Ekonomi. telah menyeru supaya data dikumpulkan di tahap yang lebih terperinci dan bersifat setempat termasuk mengikut kawasan Parlimen.

    Kerajaan Pulau Pinang sedang menyumbang usahanya dengan mengeluarkan maklumat terperinci mengikut peringkat negeri di data.gov.my termasuk menyenaraikan kesemua 201 kedai nasi kandar di negeri tersebut![5] Penang GIS Cemter (PEGIS) juga ditubuhkan bagi memudahkan akses GIS dan pemetaan untuk pengguna-pengguna, termasuklah perniagaan yang mahu ‘tag’ lokasi mereka pada peta PEGIS serta penggemar sukan berbasikal yang mahu ‘tag’ laluan basikal kegemaran mereka[6].

    Selain daripada isu pengaksesan data, Malaysia juga ketinggalan dari segi tenaga kerja iaitu jumlah pakar berpengetahuan yang dapat memahami dan menganalisis ‘big data’ dengan secukupnya. Analisa oleh Bank Dunia menunjukkan bahawa di Malaysia hanya 13.4% daripada tenaga kerja dalam bidang statistik berada di peringkat ‘pengurusan’ berbanding dengan 67.5% di negara-negara maju (lihat rajah di bawah).

    Bagi membina ekosistem data yang lebih kondusif, kita bukan sahaja memerlukan data yang lebih. Kita juga memerlukan tenaga kerja yang mampu menggunakan data ini dengan sepenuhnya dan menggubal dasar-dasar yang lebih baik. Sebagai contoh, sepasukan saintis data, ahli akademik dan pekerja sosial boleh bekerjasama untuk menilai keberkesanan pembayaran BR1M sepanjang tempoh 5 tahun lepas dan bagaimana ia dapat ditambah baik. Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan boleh menggunakan data daripada WAZE untuk membaiki lubang jalan dalam tempoh yang lebih singkat[7].  Dengan itu, apabila ahli politik atau penggubal dasar bercakap mengena ‘big data’, tanyalah kepada beliau bagaimana data ini boleh dianalisa dan digunakan untuk menambah baik dasar-dasar awam.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming merupakan Pengurus Besar Penang Institute di KL. Beliau boleh dihubungi melalui im.ok.man@gmail.com

    [1] http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/993771497248234713/Malaysia-economic-monitor-data-for-development

    [2] http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/agencies-be-compelled-share-data-after-statistics-law-review

    [3] http://www.economist.com/news/international/21722163-experimental-iterative-data-driven-approach-gaining-ground-policymakers-around

    [4] http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/886041494335634817/Open-data-differences-and-implications-across-countries

    [5] http://www.data.gov.my/data/ms_MY/organization/penang-state-government

    [6] http://pegis.penang.gov.my/story_map/sm_bicycletrails/

    [7] https://selangorkini.my/en/2016/10/smart-road-maintenance-report-using-waze/

  • Open data and policy-making in Malaysia

    (This article can also be read at the Penang Institute in KL Column in the Malaysian Insight, 26th June 2017)

    EARLIER this month, at the launch of the June issue of the World Bank’s Malaysian Economic Monitor, country director for Southeast Asia Ulrich Zachau called for more data to be disclosed to be used for better policy-making. He gave the example of how GRAB, an e-hailing service provider, was sharing its data with the government in order to find ways to better manage traffic flows.

    With the advent of big data coupled with behavioural economics, “nudge” units have been set up by governments around the world with the specific aim of using policy incentives to change behaviour and using data drive approaches to analyse the effectiveness of these policies. Cass Sunstein, co-author of the best-selling book “Nudge” was recruited by President Obama to run a nudge unit under his administration and is probably the best-known advocate of this policy approach.

    While “Big data” is often used as a buzzword by policy makers and politicians, many do not know what big data is and how it can be utilised. In fact, many of these policy makers don’t realise that the data ecosystem in Malaysia, especially when it comes to data analytics, is very under-developed.

    While the various government agencies do collect a lot of data and information, not all of it is published. A study by the World Bank shows Malaysia underperforming in relation to its GDP when it comes to our open data ranking. The same World Bank study also shows a correlation between a country’s open data score and its publication and citation ratios. The higher the open data score, the higher the number of academic publications (See Figure 4 below).

    This corresponds to the experience which many academics in Malaysia have in terms of accessing data especially at the more granular level. For example, even though the Department of Statistics (DOS) has individual level data in its Household and Income Surveys, it does not release this information to the public so that academics can study the figures in more detail and publish their findings. Concerns about the privacy of individual level data being released can be easily overcome by anonymising the data.

    Even in cases where some of this data can be released to the public, it is often costly to purchase. In contrast, the individualised data for the decennial census in the US is released publicly and is a very useful tool for social scientists to use in their academic writings and analysis.

    There have been some recent steps to improve the data ecosystem in Malaysia. The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is on the vanguard in pushing for the use of big data especially in the private sector. The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) is spearheading an initiative to consolidate the publication of government data in one location (www.data.gov.my). At the recent World Bank Event, the Minister in charge of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Rahman Dahlan, has called for the collection of data at a more refined and localised level including by parliamentary district.

    The Penang state government is doing its part by releasing detailed information at the state level in the data.gov.my including a list of all 201 nasi kandar outlets in the state! The Penang GIS center (PEGIS) was also established to make GIS and mapping more accessible to users including businesses who want to ‘tag’ their location on PEGIS maps and cycling enthusiasts who want to ‘tag’ their favourite cycling trails.

    In addition to data accessibility, Malaysia is also behind the curve in terms of knowledge workers who can adequately understand and analyse big data. Analysis by the World Bank shows that only 13.4% of the statistical workforce is at the ‘managerial’ level in Malaysia compared to 67.5% in advanced economies (See graph below).

    To build a more conducive data ecosystem, one not only needs more data but also more people who can put the data to good use and to make better policies. For example, a team of data scientists, academics and social workers can work together to evaluate the effectiveness of BR1M payments over the past five years and to see how it can be improved. The local government can make use of information provided by WAZE so that it can repair potholes in a more timely manner.

    So the next time a politician or policy-maker talks about big data, ask him or her how this data can be analysed and used to improve public policies. – June 26, 2017.

    * Dr Ong Kian Ming is the Member of Parliament for Serdang, Selangor and is also the General Manager of Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Duke University, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

  • 为何纳吉首相不挺身反对特朗普总统代表美国宣布退出巴黎协议?

    (2017年6月3日)沙登区国会议员王建民博士的媒体声明

    为何纳吉首相不挺身反对特朗普总统代表美国宣布退出巴黎协议?

    在2017年6月1日,特朗普总统宣布美国将退出由195个国家签署的巴黎气候变迁协议。此宣布立即受到多个重申支持立场的国家领导人的非议。这包括德国总理梅克尔和法国总统马克龙开腔谴责美国的决定[1],而中国[2]和俄罗斯[3]也一再重申自己对巴黎协议的承诺。

    我对自然资源和环境部长 旺朱乃迪的声明,表示“马来西亚对美国最新的宣布表示最深切的遗憾和表达深切的关心”,感到赞同。[4]

    但迄今为止,我国纳吉首相仍表达沉默。马来西亚作为今年5月参加中国一带一路会议结束时所共同发表的联合声明的30个国家中之一,重申彼此对巴黎气候变迁协议的承诺。因此,身为我国最高领导人,也就是首相,必须对特朗普的宣布有所回应。

    首相纳吉在这个课题上保持沉默,是否隐含着不敢冒犯特朗普总统,以便寄望美国司法部放弃对一马公司案件的调查和停止对刘特佐的追查呢?到底首相纳吉在这个课题上要保持多久的沉默,让我们尽情拭目以待吧。

    王建民博士
    沙登区国会议员

    [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/world/europe/paris-agreement-merkel-trump-macron.html?_r=0

    [2] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/world/europe/climate-paris-agreement-trump-china.html

    [3] http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/russia-paris-agreement-climate-change-donald-trump-us-decision-global-warming-moscow-putin-a7766481.html

    [4] https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/4203/

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