E-hailing rides, taxis essential but approval still required

KUALA LUMPUR: Taxis and e-hailing vehicles in Peninsular Malaysia are permitted to travel inter-district and interstate to transport passengers but only with prior approval, says the Transport Ministry.

The ministry said for the ongoing lockdown that began on June 1, these vehicles had been classified as “essential services” but would still need the requisite approval from the relevant authorities.

“Taxi drivers may obtain the 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 must carry the required travel permissions according to the latest standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the National Security Council,” it said in a statement.It added that due to circumstances unique to the states of Sabah and Sarawak, the respective disaster management authorities there could propose the SOP that best suited the local environment, 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 in an amendment to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2021 effective June 22,” it said.

The ministry said the Sabah Covid-19 Disaster Management Committee had also clarified that registered e-hailing and taxi drives with the requisite approvals could travel between Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Penampang without travel permits from the police starting yesterday.

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