Laws to be amended to regulate e-hailing services
TWO laws will be amended and tabled in next year’s Parliament sitting to regulate e-hailing services and issuance of new individual taxi permits.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri said amendments will be made to the Land Transport Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987.
“This will allow the government to implement several programmes and reforms to have fairer terms and conditions for taxi permit rental and regulation of e-hailing services nationwide,” she said.
Nancy said e-hailing services will operate based on laws and regulations similar to existing regulations for taxi service, which is important to ensure customers’ safety.
She added the main focus in the initiatives is the issuance of licences or new individual permits for existing taxi drivers to assist them to transit from the rental permit system.
“The government will also allocate a cash grant of RM5,000 to those qualified to purchase new taxis,” she said in response to a question by Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Baru) who wanted the government to state the criteria imposed on Uber and to what extent it was affecting the income of taxi drivers.
Nancy said the terms and conditions in the taxi permit rental system will also be upgraded and regulated to ensure the welfare of taxi drivers.
She urged taxi drivers to upgrade their technology to provide an improved service based on consumer demand and market trends.
“The government’s recent study showed that more than 50% of consumers use mobile apps to get taxi services but only 14% of taxi drivers use such mobile apps.
“So there is clearly a big gap in using the mobile apps for taxi service. Thus the e-hailing services should not be seen as a competition to the conventional taxi drivers but should be used as an opportunity to balance the demand and market trends,” Nancy said.
To a supplementary question by Takiyuddin who highlighted the protest by taxi drivers outside Parliament, Nancy admitted taxi drivers are affected by Uber and Grab services.
She said the cost for a taxi driver per day is RM55 for rental whereas it is zero for Uber and Grab drivers.