A final working paper that will hopefully regulate all land transportation will be tabled to the Cabinet this year.

The first stage of the paper, relating to GrabCar and Uber services, has been submitted and reviewed by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU). After that, it will be sent to the Cabinet, said the Chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), Tan Sri Syed Hamir Albar.

Uber GrabCar
Source: Says

He explained that regulations must be put in place so that all land public transport will be treated fairly. A win-win situation was also assured for all parties involved.

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He said:

As a protection to land public transport, we have to ensure that when the government makes a decision, there must be a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that should be fair. Hence we present to the EPU several ideas and proposals that must be implemented if we are to accept the other players (GrabCar dan Uber) in this industry.

Taxis are parked as drivers wait for customers on a road in Kuala Lumpur on February 19, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli
Taxis are parked as drivers wait for customers on a road in Kuala Lumpur on February 19, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

Taxi drivers have been voicing their unhappiness over the car services. Some of them reported that since the implementation of Uber and Grabcar, they earned less than RM30 a month, which is well below the poverty line.

Regarding the situation, Syed Hamir suggested:

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.

taxi jimmy lim
Source: Jimmy Lim’s Facebook

However, Syed Hamir does recognise that the current playing field between taxis, Uber, and Grabcar drivers are uneven, as taxi drivers have to pay a permit that allows them to charge a fare on their customers while Uber and Grabcar drivers do not have to do so. Citing another example, he also said that taxis have to go through regular Puspakom inspections which require a fee, but not for Uber and Grabcar drivers.

He further elaborated that it is actually against the law for Uber and Grabcar drivers to operate their services without a permit. However, as Malaysians prefer the aforementioned car services, the government is considering steps to legalise them.

Sources: The Star, Bernama.

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