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Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association deputy chairman Kamarudin Mohd Hussain warned that taxis will go extinct if the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) does not resolve ride-sharing apps soon, The Sun Daily reports.

He warned that an increasing number of taxi driver are leaving the industry as their incomes are diminishing. “I have been told in closed door meetings with taxi companies that they now have several unused cars as their drivers have left. If this goes on any longer, cabs will start dying off shortly,” Kamarudin said.

With that, the deputy chairman called on a full ban of ride-sharing apps because of this. He also noted that it is unfair that taxi drivers could see their licenses suspended if they violated the Road Transport Act, while Uber or GrabCar drivers could get away without any penalties.

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Kamarudin also lamented about the stoppage of new taxi licences to prevent over-saturation as stated by SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar back in 2013. “If you give Uber and GrabCar licenses, what do you think will happen?” Kamarudin questioned.

Meanwhile, president of Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM), Datuk Nadzim Johan stated that SPAD’s indecisiveness had brought unease among taxi drivers. “This Uber and GrabCar issue has been going on for more than a year, and we have received many complaints from taxi drivers who have had their incomes reduced,” he said.

On that note, he emphasised that while the NGO is on the fence regarding the matter, the president urged for SPAD to take immediate action like introducing comprehensive regulations. He also brought up the fact that both Uber and GrabCar need not go through stringent qualification and licensing processes to provide their services, adding that this is extremely unfair to taxi drivers.

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“Do drivers from Uber or GrabCar have licenses? Are they fit to drive? Do they have criminal records? We don’t know that because these are not requirements,” he said. He claimed that these are dangerous risks for consumers if they are involved in accidents as the driver’s burden of responsibility is not as great as a taxi driver’s.

The president acknowledged however, that while consumers will always seek out low prices, taxi drivers have valid grouses too. He suggested that Uber and GrabCar drivers form a company where they all have equal shares to operate legally.

The president also said that this is but just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come once the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) comes into full-force as major companies seek to eliminate local competition. So guys, what do you think of all this? Share with us your opinion in the comments section below.