The rise of ride-hailing in the country has seen a swell of people becoming service providers. The government estimates that around 50,000 to 60,000 people are believed to have registered with e-hailing applications such as Uber and GrabCar to become drivers, Bernama reports.

However, only 20% of these drivers were active, while the rest are part-timers who have permanent jobs, according to minister in the prime minister’s department, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong. “Most of the drivers providing Uber and Grabcar services are concentrated in urban areas such as the Klang Valley and Penang,” he said in reply to a question at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Wee added that the bill to regulate ride-hailing services will be tabled in Parliament in March next year. Once the bill is passed, ride-hailing services will be regulated by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

In August, SPAD outlined its plans to improve the taxi industry in Malaysia through the implementation of the Cabinet-approved Taxi Industry Transformation Programme (TITP). The programme is geared to regulate e-hailing services (Uber/Grab), while providing existing taxis new opportunities to remain sustainable and competitive.

Currently, there are an estimated 77,000 registered taxi drivers nationwide. With the legalisation of ride-hailing services, around 150,000 new individual permit holders – comprising Uber, Grab and conventional taxi drivers – are expected to co-exist in the next three years.