Uber is finding no joy in Sabah – the ride-sharing service has only been operating in Kota Kinabalu for less than a month, but has now been banned by the Sabah Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB), The Star reports.

The CVLB said that it viewed the transportation network company as nothing more than a mobile application-based “pirate” cab service. “We want to treat everyone fairly including existing taxi drivers. And just like conventional unregistered taxi services, it is illegal,” Sabah CVLB chairman Datuk Raime Unggi said.

He said that Uber only began operations in Kota Kinabalu last month, but taxi drivers in the city were already feeling threatened by the new player. Raime added that Kota Kinabalu Taxi Operators Association representatives had met him and voiced their objections about Uber, and had asked the authorities to consider blocking the ride-sharing service’s smartphone application as a way of stopping it.

Though the Sabah CLVB will look at regulating Uber so that participating drivers can offer the rides legally, Raime said that any changes will only come about after a study by the Land and Public Transport Commission (SPAD) on Uber and other ride-sharing services. He also said that the CVLB was aware of the need to improve public transport services in the state.