SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Albar has announced that a survey conducted by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) last year revealed that some 80-percent of Malaysians prefer Uber and Grab over taxis. The news really shouldn’t come as a surprise to our readers, but there is now confirmation that the government is also aware of the situation.
That being said, Syed Hamid has said that the full report has not submitted its report on regulating ride-sharing services to the Transport Ministry. He did, however, share that the commission has studied the situation and is prepared to make proposals on what to do.
“I would not consider this as ‘ride sharing’; I prefer to see it as ‘e-hailing’ as ride sharing has got it own problems. We have looked into it and we will submit all of our views on how we should tackle this issue to the government.
“Also, I recently met with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman. We discussed all these issue on the various ways how we can regulate it, because mobile applications fall under the MCMC. In that case, we have to make sure that the country’s taxi industry would be able to coexist and not be pushed out from the public transport system,” he told reporters.
Rebranding Uber and Grab as e-hailing may provide a hint as to what SPAD has in mind for the services, but more importantly it looks like the commission is trying to move the conversation away from the stigma of term “ride-sharing”.
At the same time, Syed Hamid stressed that issues with the taxi industry must also be addressed to make it more competitive. He urged taxis to upgrade their standards to provide better service and a more comfortable ride to the public.
[Source: New Straits Times]