Several taxi driver associations are blaming the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) for not clamping down on errant drivers. This, they say, is the reason for the public having a bad perception of Malaysian taxis; and is driving the public towards ride-sharing services like Uber and GrabCar.
The Federal Territories and Selangor Taxi Association, Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m), and Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Application Taxi Drivers Association (Pertapps) all issued statements blaming the public and SPAD for allowing the problems with the taxi industry to continue. Federal Territories and Selangor Taxi Association president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said that the public is encouraging drivers to flout the law by still using the taxis despite the obviously higher prices.
These statements come shortly after the results of a public survey by SPAD were made public. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that people are overwhelmingly supportive of ride-sharing services; with some 86.1-percent saying that they have used the service at some point. Interestingly, despite a large number of people having used ride-sharing services, 29.7-percent of respondents still believed that they should not be allowed to operate in the country.
Pertapps secretary Apriman Darlis admitted that drivers who failed to use meters were giving taxis a bad name. However, he also said that it is SPADs responsibility to educate the drivers against cheating passengers.
Taxi driver associations have been holding regular protests and rallies to urge SPAD to clamp down on ride-sharing services. These drivers has also been taking matters into their own hands by harassing anyone they suspect of being an Uber or GrabCar driver.
It was reported that SPAD was planning on proposing an amendment to the Land Public Transport Act that would allow it to fully oversee ride-sharing services. However, it looks like the commission was looking for public feedback before deciding what the amendment would be. With any luck, this overwhelming support for the disruptive new service may just be enough to convince SPAD to allow it to continue.
[Source: The Malaysian Insider]