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Despite calls from certain quarters to clamp down on it, the authorities have decided not to ban app-based ride hailing service Uber, The Sun reports. The service – as well as the likes of Grab – will however need to be regulated to ensure it does not hurt the existing taxi industry, according to Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

The commission had a meeting with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) last Friday, and both parties agreed that the mobile app should not be banned. Syed Hamid added that according to SPAD’s online survey, 85% of taxi passengers prefer to use Uber, which has been talking to transport authorities to find a resolution to the issue.

“The main problem is Uber cars do not have any licences from SPAD and the related authorities. Uber needs to be in our system, then we can regulate them,” Syed Hamid said. He added that they will need time to sort out how to regulate Uber vehicles, but declined to elaborate.

Meanwhile, taxi services have been responding to the demands of the day. “In order to be more competitive, some existing taxi associations or clubs already started their own app to offer better services. We all should know that technology can bring us a step further,” he said.

He however expressed his disappointment that people were not using the the “Meter-on” app, and said the government has no plans to extend services for the app, which has only around 20,000 users.