The Malaysian government is willing to allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Grab to provided that they obtain the same commercial vehicle insurance as taxis. The regulations are not in effect yet, and the Ministry of Transportation is still waiting for the Land Public Transport Commission to finish collecting feedback from the public.
Deputy transport minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said that the new regulations would allow ride-sharing services to operate legally in the country, but will not be implemented until later in the year. He explained that SPAD had briefed him on its plan to regulate these kinds of apps.
“We have discussed with SPAD and they’ve done their lab and what I was briefed is that they’ll try to regulate these apps so there some suggestion to create new approach like setting up taxi network operators,” said Abdul Aziz.
From what we can tell, it looks like SPAD is doing its best to find a way to get ride-sharing services to work within the law. It sounds promising for regular consumers, but Uber has been notorious for ignoring any regulatory restrictions placed on it. That being said, Uber already covers its drivers through a third party insurance company; and at most this would require them to re-negotiate the policies.
The ministry of transport is also looking into loosening the rules and regulations that bind taxi companies. At the moment, it is considering reducing the frequency of Puspakom inspections from twice a year to just a single visit a year. Taxi drivers often complain about competing with ride-sharing services who are not bound by the same legal requirements.
It is difficult to say how taxi drivers will react to this statement, but it is likely that there will be some backlash at the plan to regulate ride-sharing. SPAD has been accused of dragging its feet in clamping down on ride-sharing apps, although from what we can tell the commission has been taking its time in figuring out how to deal with the disruptive business.
[Source: The Malay Mail]