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It has been announced that drivers of ride-sharing services will soon have to buy commercial insurance if they want to continue operating their businesses legally. According to the New Straits Times, deputy transport minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi made the announcement and said that further details will be revealed in due time.

Taxi operators have long been subject to having commercial insurances which offer a degree of protection to their customers in the event of an accident. Uber and Grab (previously known as GrabCar) drivers been operating as private vehicle owners that offer “rides” for a fee.

But soon, it looks like the government will make it compulsory for Uber and Grab drivers to buy commercial licenses in order to continue their operations. The move is seen as one that will better regulate these services.

“We want to regulate the industry so that these vehicles are safe for people to ride in. We also want to legalise the industry as the number of phone apps will continue to grow. Malaysians find these apps very convenient in terms of securing public transport,” said Kaprawi.

As previously reported, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), the Transport Ministry and several representatives from ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Grab, are in the middle of discussing the outcome of these ride-sharing services.

It was also reported that while Uber and Grab’s operations may be on the path to being legalised, it will have to adhere to several key terms – many of which regular taxi drivers typically encounter. On top of having commercial insurances as mentioned, periodic vehicle inspections by Puspakom is likely to be another requirement. No timeline has been provided as to when a final outcome on the matter would be tabled.