Malaysia-Taxi-01

With results of a Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) online poll recently showing that 70.3% of its 42,265 voters favour the regulation of ride-sharing services and apps, taxi associations have begun pointing fingers at its regulators.

A report by The Star quoted several unhappy taxi drivers who said that Uber and GrabCar’s services do not offer its customers insurance. It was also stressed that the betterment of their service is SPAD’s responsibility.

“If an accident happens, who will pay?” asked Federal Territories and Selangor Taxi Association president Datuk Aslah Abdullah. “They want nice cars and a service that comes in five minutes. But, the consequence is, who will pay?” Aslah told the English daily.

It was also reported that because Uber and GrabCar’s drivers mostly have private insurance arrangements, they would not be able to claim for any damages because ride-sharing is deemed a commercial activity.

Malaysia-Taxi-02

The SPAD poll also revealed that 89.1% of its voters were unhappy with taxi drivers overcharging customers and not using their meters. Also, another 86.1% had previously used ride-sharing apps before, and 71.3% found these services more reliable than taxis.

Deputy chairman Kamarudin Mohd Hussain of the Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (PERS1M) suggests that SPAD is to be blamed for Uber and GrabCar’s rise. By not improving the service, public demand for these ride-sharing services grew.

Apriman Darlis, secretary for the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Application Taxi Drivers Association (PERTAPPS) said that it was SPAD’s responsibility to educate its drivers about not cheating their customers. He was referring to the 89.1% of voters who were unhappy with drivers overcharging customers.

Aslah echoed the secretary’s statement, saying that taxi drivers would not cheat their customers if SPAD’s enforcement on them was a lot stronger. He also said that public passengers should not encourage these cheating drivers by getting into these taxis and agreeing to pay their high prices.