‘20 vehicles using Uber app do not have permits’

KUALA LUMPUR: Twenty of the 50 vehicles under eight companies that used the Uber mobile application do not have the necessary permits, said the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

“As Uber is a relatively new application in Malaysia, SPAD feels the companies should be given explanations on the rules and regulations the operators should abide by,” the commission said in a statement yesterday.

“Although the use of the Uber app is not against the law, the use of the vehicles with appropriate licences is required,” said SPAD, urging the operators to abide by the rules.

On its recent action to bring several taxi drivers to court for not having a kad pemandu (driver card), SPAD said: “Although the card is a simple document, the implication is huge when it comes to the safety of passengers.”

The complaint against SPAD was over four taxi drivers who were charged in court and were either fined or jailed for the offence.

Taxi association Pers1M had lodged the complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), demanding an investigation into SPAD and Uber, which its operators claim is not a taxi app but a premium and safe on-demand private chauffeur service.

Pers1M had claimed Uber is operating taxies illegally and this was affecting their (the regular taxi drivers) income.

SPAD said in all the cases, the taxi drivers were first given warnings and a minimum compound of RM500 for the offence.

“However, despite the ample time and warnings given, they refused to pay the compound,” SPAD said, adding that only after that were they (the errant taxi drivers) charged in court.

“It is unfair to say that the commission acted without conscience as enough time and chances were given to the taxi drivers.

“The punishment and fine meted out were according to the law and the discretion of the court,” SPAD said.

It added SPAD’s actions were to protect the image of taxi drivers, which has been marred due to the action of a few.

SPAD also said that it would continue with its efforts to ensure that taxi drivers follow regulations set by the commission.