The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has proposed amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010, which will allow it to take action against ride-sharing apps like Uber and GrabCar. At the moment, these apps fall under the purview of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC); which means that SPAD has no jurisdiction over them.
At the moment, ride-sharing services straddle the line between SPAD and the MCMC. As far as the app goes, it does not run afoul of guidelines set by the MCMC; which means that it is legal to operate. However, SPAD has maintained that any drivers who wish to drive for these services must possess a proper license.
A source from SPAD told Kosmo that the commission is preparing a proposal that would allow it to oversee the development of ride-sharing apps. The source has apparently been referring to ride-sharing services as teksi sapu, which is an odd description considering the vast differences between the two. It appears to be that SPAD considers ride-sharing vehicles as teksi sapu and intends to expand its jurisdiction to encompass apps that provide the service.
Ride-sharing apps have come under fire in recent months as local taxi operators increase pressure on SPAD to take action. Some 110 ride-sharing vehicles have been impounded by SPAD officials since October last year, although while another 34 vehicles remain under investigation.
Any amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010 will take time to pass through Parliament, which means that no changes will happen to ride-sharing apps in the near future. Although that probably won’t stop taxi driver associations from holding more protests.
[Source: Paul Tan]