The Malaysian Taxi Drivers, Limousine and Car Rental Operators Association (Petekma) has submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister which calls for a ban on taxi-hailing applications.

This was one of Petekma’s 4 proposals submitted to the Government for the Budget 2016.

Uber GrabCar
Source: Rappler

Petekma president Mohd Syahrir Abdul Aziz said taxi-hailing applications such as Uber and GrabCar were operating as taxis and that passengers were facing risks as such services were not regulated by the authorities.

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The Star Online quoted him as saying

Out of nowhere, they are doing the same business as us, but they remain unregulated without having to pay for insurance or any extra processing fees and inspection from Puspakom. What if anything happens? Who will take the blame?

He said Uber drivers who wanted to be part of the taxi business should go through similar processes and get certification from the Land Public Transport Commission.

He added that Petekma wants the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to consider banning the application as we are unsure of the safety of their services.

Person using the Uber app

The Uber/GrabCar argument is not new as it has been going on for over a year.

In October 2014, JPJ vowed to “crack down” on the Uber service and in June this year, local taxi drivers called on Parliament to introduce a law to ban Uber. Also in June this year, taxi drivers staged a protest against the ride-sharing service and just 2 weeks ago, SPAD threatened to use the Uber app against Uber drivers.

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Who can forget that there has also been some cases of taxi drivers taking matters in their own hands and “arresting” Uber and GrabCar drivers around KLCC.

Let’s just say that there has been a lot of drama surrounding both Uber and GrabCar, but these services are still active because it’s pretty hard to ban an app.

GrabCar Malaysia

Petekma’s memorandum was submitted to the government’s socio-cultural adviser Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, who is also Petekma’s adviser.

Rais has previously urged taxi drivers to take steps to fight the negative perception about the industry. “Perhaps it’s best for taxi drivers to consider undergoing courtesy courses to improve their services. We must provide basic courtesy to our customers,” he said.

Does anyone else think that Uber and GrabCar shouldn’t be banned? And will “courtesy courses” be enough to improve our Malaysian taxi drivers? Why do we choose Uber/GrabCar over hailing a Malaysian cab? What are your thoughts on this?

Feel free to discuss this in the comments box below.

Sources: Lowyat.NET, The Star Online (1), The Star Online (2) / Featured image from Rappler.

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