‘Uber, Grabcar must follow taxi rules’

KUALA LUMPUR: Following its legalisation, ride-sharing drivers like Uber and GrabCar will be subjected to the same rules as conventional taxi drivers, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

“It is the Cabinet’s decision to allow for Uber, Grabcar and conventional taxis to have the same terms and a level playing field,” said the Tourism and Culture Minister, when asked to comment on the legalisation of e-hailing services slated to be done at the Parliament meeting next week.

Under the policy, ride-sharing drivers would be required to go through processes such as registration, Puspakom inspections, obtaining a public service vehicle licence (PSV) and accident coverage insurance, he added.

“It’s to clear the issue of rivalry between Uber, Grabcar and taxi drivers, and in consideration of consumers who are very happy with the apps.

“Whatever regulations or charges that apply to the traditional taxi drivers will also apply to Uber and Grabcar drivers, because they offer rides to the public,” he told reporters after launching the Ostarrichislam ‘Islam in Austria’ exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia here, yesterday.

Also present were Austrian ambassador to Malaysia Christophe Ceska and Austrian exhibition curator Galib Stanfel.

He added that in relation to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) taking steps to regulate the ride-sharing services, the laws could be amended to legalise Uber and GrabCar.

The move to regulate the e-hailing services is seen as a boon for the tourism industry, and places Kuala Lumpur on the same level as other metropolises such as Jakarta and Bangkok.

“If we don’t embrace these apps, then our big cities will be left behind,” cautioned Nazri.

On another matter, the Padang Rengas MP said that he would be throwing his full support behind the Child Sexual Crimes Bill.

The preliminary draft of the Bill includes new laws against sexual grooming – the act of befriending a person for the purpose of sexually exploiting them.

“I definitely support the Bill as we cannot allow for crimes to be committed against children.

“We must support it, especially in the light of recent events such as the convicted child molester, Richard Huckle.

“We cannot let crimes like these happen again,” he said, referring to the 30-year-old British citizen currently serving 23 life sentences for 71 counts of child sex offences, including 22 charges of rape against children he groomed while posing as a volunteer working with Christian communities in Kuala Lumpur.

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