The Malaysian taxi industry has threatened a weeklong protest should ride-sharing services be legalised in Malaysia. Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m) president Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain said that cabbies are unhappy that the government is prepared to embrace the services that have hurt the taxi industry.
According to Kamarudding, the chief complaint from taxi drivers is that they are forced to compete on uneven footing with ride-sharing services. At the moment, taxis are subject to government regulation; a problem that ride-sharing services do not share.
However, the situation is set to change according to the proposal set out by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD). According to news from last week, the cabinet was pleased by a proposal to issue individual taxi licenses to cabbies; which would be a step away from the company-based licensing done today.
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai had also said that the taxi industry would be deregulated to allow cabbies to better compete with Uber and Grab. At the same time, ride-sharing drivers would be required to obtain a ‘driver’s card’ that will allow the government to provide some amount of regulation for the fledgling service.
While full details of SPAD’s proposal are still unavailable, it would seem that the condition of the taxi industry was already taken into account. Whether the Pers1m will still be interested in protesting once SPAD makes an official announcement later this week is questionable. Especially considering that the government is set to give taxi drivers precisely what they have been asking for.
[Source: The Malay Mail Online]