PETALING JAYA: The amendments to the relevant laws regulating e-hailing services are expected to be concluded by the first quarter of next year.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said it was already in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Transport Ministry to get the laws amended.
“Upon finalisation, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Cabinet prior to the Bill being tabled in Parliament for approval.
“We have been advised that this is expected to be concluded by the first quarter of 2017,” said SPAD in a statement yesterday.
It added that once amendments to the laws were passed by Parliament, SPAD would implement and regulate the e-hailing system.
On Monday, it was reported that Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had urged SPAD to expedite the amendment laws to regulate GrabCar and Uber in an effort to provide an equal platform between the new ride-sharing services and local taxis.
Liow reportedly said he was aware of complaints from taxi drivers who were unhappy with the emergence of ride-sharing services.
In an immediate comment, Grab Malaysia country head Jaygan Fu said it welcomed the move by SPAD to expedite the regulations of ride-hailing services.
“We are always in support of the Government for being forward thinking to embrace technology and acknowledging the role ride-hailing services such as Grab play to positively impact the lives of the rakyat, especially drivers.
“This move to expedite the regulations will benefit and motivate taxi drivers and those in the B40 segment to consider Grab as a viable and legitimate source of income.
“In a nutshell, we are ever committed to work alongside the authorities to understand the policies and review our operations to best accommodate, with minimal impact to both our drivers and passengers,” said Fu.
A spokesperson for Uber said it welcomes the Government’s recognition that ride-sharing was a positive contributor to riders, drivers and cities.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Government on these important pro-innovation reforms.”
Meanwhile, SPAD said it has implemented several measures which do not require amendments to the law by Parliament in executing the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme. It said that these measures were the liberalisation of taxi permits to individual drivers under the taxi rental system.
“With 1,600 applications to date since Sept 1, this initiative continues to be well received by taxi drivers as it provides successful applicants the liberty to decide on the business model that best suits them for better control of their economic destinies,” said SPAD.
In August, SPAD said taxi drivers who felt oppressed by the current rental system will be given a way out.
They could apply for individual taxi licences and some may even be given RM5,000 as seed money to buy their own taxis.