E-hailing, taxi services to be streamlined as planned

A-      A+

KAJANG — The government will press ahead with new regulations to unify e-hailing and taxis regardless of renewed objections from cab operators, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said.

He rejected allegations the ministry did not consult taxi operators’ associations before announcing the new regulations.

“We give them a year to comply with the new regulations. We have met with the e-hailing service provider and explained the direction we are taking. They have the responsibility to explain this to their drivers,” he said.

“It is not true that we did not have any engagement, this is a lie … we had met with the taxi operators’ groups beforehand.

“Those who demonstrated recently were also present at the engagement session.”

Loke was referring to a protest staged by some 200 taxi drivers outside Parliament on Monday.

“We will not negotiate on this. What has been announced will continue,” he said after visiting the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research yesterday.

Loke reiterated that the slew of new regulations will level the playing field for taxi and e-hailing drivers to enable both to abide by the same rules.

“Before this, what was applicable to taxi drivers was not adhered to by e-hailing drivers,” he said.

“Now we want them to adhere to the same rules and they will have to compete with one another to provide better service.”

Members of the Association for the Transformation of Malaysian Taxi Drivers had gathered at Padang Merdeka on Monday to voice their disagreement over the new regulations on e-hailing services, announced on July 11.

The new regulations took effect on Tuesday, with a one-year moratorium given to drivers and companies to comply with them.

The regulations require e-hailing drivers to also undergo regular car and health inspections, and renew their driver’s card annually.