The transport ministry has begun a study on the impact of the Grab-Uber merger. Additionally, the new e-hailing regulations set out by SPAD and approved by the previous administration are being put into place today.
Transport minister Anthony Loke said that the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) received many complaints about Grab fares in recent weeks. Particularly after the Grab-Uber merger that saw the Singapore-based company take over the operations of its closest rival in Southeast Asia.
This move comes after a report from Singapore that the merger has reduced competition and increased fares in the nation state. The Singaporean anti-trust body has proposed fines and even forcing the company to give up its car-leasing business.
In response, Grab Malaysia head Sean Goh said, “we have noted the government’s progressive stance in improving the quality and coverage of public transport industry in Malaysia, as stated in the manifesto and various communications. We look forward to actively engage with the Minister of Transport, Mr. Anthony Loke and his team in open dialogue to clarify and smoothen out the details of the new regulations introduced and to ensure minimal interruptions to our driver-partners, operations and processes.”
Additionally, the government has implemented the driver’s card requirement for e-hailing drivers. This requires all drivers on all e-hailing platforms (and not just Grab) to obtain permission from SPAD to operate. Companies have a year from today to comply with the regulations.
Goh said, “we have just been alerted of the regulatory suggestions and have yet to receive the formal operational directive. As part of the industry we hoped that we, like other players in the market were consulted earlier on, as it does affect hundreds of thousands of drivers across the country.”
Grab has urged its drivers to give the company some time to sort out the new regulations. It has said that it will be engaging with the government to fully understand the regulations and how to best implement them with minimal impact.