KUALA LUMPUR: Taxis and e-hailing vehicles in Peninsula Malaysia are permitted to operate across districts and states, but only if they are transporting passengers with the approval to do so.
The Transport Ministry, in a statement on Wednesday (June 23) said that during the lockdown starting June 1, these are classified as essential services and are permitted to operate inter-district or interstate to transport passengers.
"Taxi drivers may obtain their approval letters by completing their registrations on the ministry's SMILE (Sistem Maklumat Industri Logistik) System at https://application.mot.gov.my, while drivers of e-hailing vehicles are issued the letters via their respective e-hailing operators.
"Passengers using taxi or e-hailing services to travel interstate or inter-district are responsible for ensuring that they carry the required travel permissions according to the latest standard operating procedures (SOP) as published by the National Security Council (NSC)," it said.
It added that due to specific circumstances unique to Sabah and Sarawak, the respective states' disaster management authorities were allowed to propose SOPs that best suit their local environments, to be approved and instructed by the Health director-general accordingly.
"As such, these SOPs may differ from those pertaining to and applicable in other parts of Malaysia.
"This is reflected with an amendment to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No. 3) Regulations 2021 effective 22 June 2021
Special provisions relating to control of movement within the State of Sabah, 14A, which stipulates, "Notwithstanding any provision in these Regulations, the control of movement, measures, and any conditions for the control of movement and measures, for the purpose of preventing and controlling the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) within the State of Sabah, shall be as directed by the Director-General," it said.
The ministry said following the amendment to the above, the Sabah Covid-19 Disaster Management Committee had also clarified in a statement that registered e-hailing vehicles and taxis with the requisite approvals based on NSC SOPs are allowed to travel between the districts of Kota Kinabalu, Putatan, and Penampang without needing travel permits from police from June 23.
"Nevertheless, all public transport operators and service providers in Sabah and Sarawak are reminded to adhere to the specific SOP related to their respective states that govern their operations.
"This is in response to reports of an e-hailing driver in Sabah who was issued a compound notice on June 12 for attempting to transport an essential worker across two district borders," the Ministry said, adding that these SOPs are designed to suit the developing Covid-19 situation nationwide and their prevention efforts and are thus subject to updates from time to time.
The ministry also said it would continue to monitor the situation related to the transport and logistic sectors and advise the NSC on best practices to suit the industry at any given time pertaining to efforts to curb transmissions.