Govt seeks win-win solution for taxi, Uber and GrabCar drivers

By THE STAR | 23 May 2016

JOHOR BARU: The Land Public Transport Commission wants to create a friendly environment among taxi, Uber and GrabCar drivers.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Dr Syed Hamid Albar said currently, the playing field between taxis, Uber and GrabCar were uneven due to the regulations set by the authorities.

He cited an example where taxi drivers had to pay for a permit that allowed them to charge a fare on their customers and the taxis had to also go through Puspakom inspections.

“This is different when it comes to Uber or GrabCar drivers where the majority of them use their own private vehicles and do not have any permits to offer their services towards the public, which is against the law.

“However, due to such services becoming a favourite among Malaysians, the Government is considering whether to make Uber or other similar services legal in the country,” he told reporters after officiating at the SPAD southern region office at Menara Cyberport here yesterday.

He added that the commission had taken into account the views of all stakeholders including taxi drivers as well as public perception about Uber and GrabCar in a survey.

Syed Hamid said that he recently met with a group of taxi drivers where many of them voiced their unhappiness since the other services made their presence in the country.

“For example, a taxi driver now earned less than RM30 a month, which is quite alarming as it is well below the poverty line, ever since passengers prefer to take Uber or GrabCar.

“However, taxi drivers must accept that the environment has changed where they must provide an even better service compared to Uber, which is not only available in Malaysia but throughout the world,” he said.

He added that SPAD had forwarded its paperwork to the Economic Council under the Economic Planning Unit for a review before presenting it to the Cabinet by this year on whether to allow Uber or other services to conduct their services here or be regulated.

Syed Hamid gave his assurance to all stakeholders that it would be a win-win situation for both sides where everybody would be able to benefit from.