PUTRAJAYA: The Government has capped at 20% the maximum commission that taxi companies and e-hailing services can impose on their drivers.
This follows complaints that some services were charging drivers up to 25% in commissions.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who disclosed this yesterday, said while the maximum commission rate for private vehicles had been set at 20%, the maximum rate for taxi drivers was 10%.
“The surcharge rate is also limited to twice the fare charge,” he said at a press conference following the ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting.
The cap is part of a series of regulatory procedures, effective today, to provide a level playing field for taxis and e-hailing services.
The regulations are an extension of the laws already passed in Parliament last year, which provided for legalisation of e-hailing services.
Loke said there would be a grace period of one year for the firms to comply.
Among the regulations are that e-hailing providers, like taxi services, must register with the Companies Commission or the Cooperatives Commission and pay a fee to be determined.
“We have also standardised the periodic inspection of vehicles to once a year after the vehicles are three years old, for both taxis and e-hailing, instead of once every six months for taxi services only.
“All vehicle brands must be ranked at least three stars on the Asean NCAP or equivalent,” Loke said, adding that licence requirements for drivers were the same, but enhanced with criminal record checks.
The Asean NCAP is a new car assessment programme for South-East Asian countries.
All service providers must also provide insurance coverage for drivers, vehicles, passengers and third parties.
Loke said drivers should undergo a six-hour training stint with a fee of RM200 each, and the training could be provided by intermediaries like taxi companies and driving institutes.
E-hailing companies must also draw up a code of conduct and guidelines for driver complaints, which the Government will audit.
“Passengers will also be required to upload their proof of identity (MyKad or passport) to the smartphone apps to ensure better safety for drivers,” he said.
Existing taxi drivers who want to join e-hailing will be given a government grant of RM5,000 to buy new or used vehicles.
The grant is also applicable for taxi drivers whose mortgage contract with companies have ended, should they choose to continue their jobs under individual permits.
Loke said there had been a higher number of trips taken by e-hailing firms in Malaysia over the years, which showed its popularity.
“It went up from six million trips a month in 2016 to 18 million a month this year.
“We have 200,000 registered e-hailing drivers and of the number, 50,000 are full-time. As for taxis, we have 67,000 of them nationwide, of which 52% are individually owned,” he said.
Loke also said the ministry would work with the Anti-Competition Commission to study a e-hailing monopoly risk after Grab merged with Uber in March.
Grab said that it wished that the government had consulted the industry first before announcing that e-hailing services will be subject to the same regulation as taxis, as it affects hundreds of thousands of drivers.
“We have just been alerted of the ‘regulatory suggestions’ and have yet to receive the formal operational directive,” said Grab Malaysia’s country head, Sean Goh.