Grab personnel during the recent Grab Chinese New Year dinner.
Grab personnel during the recent Grab Chinese New Year dinner.

Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading super app that provides the widest range of every day on-demand services such as e-hailing, food, package, grocery delivery, mobile payments and financial services to millions of Southeast Asians, across 339 cities in eight countries.

A better and safer way to earn

Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 166 million mobile devices, giving users access to over nine million drivers, merchants and agents. Among them is deaf rider Abdul Shafiq Saperi, 33, and physically-disabled driver, Amy Lee Mei Yit, 30.

The deaf rider

Food delivery rider Abdul Shafiq Saperi has been with Grab since July 2018. When met with his interpreter, Helen Chung, Shafiq signed that before that he had worked with Sarawak Society for the Deaf’s charity car wash after coming back to Kuching in 2017.

“I heard many drove Grab, but I do not have a car. I only have a motorbike, that is why I chose to apply as a delivery rider and was approved,” he shared.

According to Shafiq, he did not want to depend fully on the government’s support. He also disclosed that working with Grab has yielded him a higher pay every month compared to before.

Starting at 9 in the morning to 2 pm, and continuing at 4 pm to 10 at night, Syafiq shared that his daily routine is not as tiring as it sounds. Aside from the two hours window of rest, Syafiq also gets his rest while waiting for his phone to vibrate a delivery notice.

Grabfood rider Abdul Shafiq Saperi and his interpreter Helen Chung taking a photo together during the Grab dinner held at DBNA, Kuching.

At average, he would receive a total of 25 orders a day. He also shared about times when customers misunderstood him. “This is because they do not understand when I am signing, so when I signed thank you, they do not understand. Then I had to mouthed ‘thank you’ for them to understand me.”

Some customers felt curious about why he does not talk. However, the 33-year-old Syafiq explained that he never received any fussy customers, and most of them understood him well.

The bespectacled man was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss at the age of six. He signed that he suffered a high fever when he was a baby, however throughout his toddler years and childhood days, his mother did not realise that he could not hear.

“Whenever she talks or scold me, I could not hear. So I would just look at her. One day she brought me to the hospital and that was when i was diagnosed as being deaf,” he shared.

The physically-disabled driver

Despite her difficulty to walk, Amy Lee Mei Yit remained cheerful and optimistic. The 30-year-old was inspired to become a Grab driver from her brother. Soon after she joined, her father applied for Grab and now the family has three Grab drivers.

Amy Lee Mei Yit is a disabled driver, but nothing stops her from making a living through Grab.

Hailing from Lundu, Sarawak, Amy was a tuition teacher before becoming a driver in Kuching, Sarawak. Having jumped onboard Grab in March 2018, Amy said she changed her career to rid the stress of her previous job.

“I started as a part-time driver, but now I don’t feel like stopping. I will drive from nine in the morning, and will be on the road for eight to 12 hours.” Being a female driver poses risk especially when driving at night, Amy said that if she encountered an unfamiliar place at night, she will think twice.

“During the day it is alright. At night, I would usually cancel. Despite the decrease in my ratings, I do not mind as it is for my own safety.”

As a Grab driver for almost two years, Amy shared that her day is almost never the same as she met different people every day. “I enjoy chatting with them. My passengers are mostly locals and they would use Grab to commute daily.”

She disclosed that at times she would also pick up the same person, “And it feels like meeting an old friend when they told me I’ve driven them before.”

For Amy, she explained that she would continue being a Grab driver, “Why stop when I can still do it?”

Grab personnel during the recent Grab Chinese New Year dinner.