The Malaysian government has accepted the proposal from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to legalise and regulate ride-hailing services Uber and Grab.
With the Cabinet’s approval, Uber and Grab will effectively be part of the public transport system in cities where they are operating, such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru.
This approval is one of the 11 initiatives by SPAD to improve and streamline Malaysia’s public transport system, including regular taxi services. When the new laws are implemented by year end, about 150,000 new regular taxi, Uber and Grab drivers will be providing services to the public over the coming three years.
After the decision to legalise Uber and Grab was announced, the Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m) warned that taxi drivers will protest for six days.
The taxi drivers are very unhappy as they claim that the two ride-hailing services have already hurt their business, hence, legalising the services will further mar the industry.
We’d take this with a grain of salt for now, but Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai mentioned that the ride-sharing services will be regulated while the traditional taxi industry will be deregulated.