PETALING JAYA: A law will be introduced to compel operators of mobile apps offering public transport, like Uber and GrabCar, to comply with certain standards of service, comfort and safety.
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the services would not be banned but under the proposed amendments to the Land Transport Act 2010, they would be made to meet certain conditions.
At present, Uber and GrabCar are not deemed illegal but drivers face the risk of being arrested for using their private vehicles to carry passengers while they do not have Public Service Vehicle licences.
Syed Hamid said drivers were not allowed to ferry passengers in vehicles which they bought using bank loans as it would be a breach of the hire purchase agreement.
“The insurance coverage for vehicles ferrying passengers is also different from private vehicles.
“Once the law is amended, we will be able to regulate these apps. If the drivers commit offences, the company can be charged in court. At present, we can’t do that.
“We will put in provisions whereby the bottom line will be that passengers get safer and better services,” he said.
Uber (Malaysia) general manager Leon Foong said the service offered by the company requires the Government to take a fresh look at existing regulations.
He noted that the Philippines and Mexico governments had recently regulated Uber after realising the value in working together with it.
“We are very eager to work with the authorities to ensure we can help build the future of transportation for the rakyat together,” he said.
Foong also denied claims that Uber was taking away business from regular taxi drivers.
“In fact, it is increasing the entire pie for the industry by creating tens of thousands of new work and entrepreneurship opportunities for Malaysians,” he said.
GrabTaxi marketing group vice-president Cheryl Goh said the company is fully supportive of regulations in the industry.
“This is as long as it fulfils the objective of solving transportation problems, without compromising certain standards such as commuters’ safety and fair labour practices,” she said.