The first step in the process to regulating ride-hailing services like Uber and Grab has been taken, following the tabling of amendments to two laws in Parliament, according to a report by The Star. Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, minister in the prime minister’s department, tabled the amendments to the Land Public Transport (LPT) Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) Act 1987.

The bill is set to be debated in the current Parliament sitting, which ends on Thursday, and will introduce an intermediation business licence that would legalise ride-hailing services by defining the vehicles used as public service vehicles.

A ride-hailing vehicle is defined in the bill as a motor vehicle with a seating capacity of four persons and not more than 11 persons (including the driver) for any journey for single or separate fares, with a booking made through a mobile app.

It also includes regulations for licensing the intermediation business including application, conditions, renewal and revoking of the licenses issued by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB). The licences are non-transferable, and doing so could see those involved be slapped with a fine not less than RM1,000 and not more than RM10,000, a one-year jail term, or both.

Under Section 26A (1), it will be compulsory for a company that operates a ride-hailing service to have an intermediation business licence as well as comply with the rules set by the CVLB. These conditions include the type of service provided, measures to safeguard the safety and security of passengers and the standard of performance that ride-hailing companies have to meet.

Individuals caught providing ride-hailing services without an intermediation business licence can be fined up to RM500,000, face imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both upon conviction. Meanwhile, those who fail to comply with the conditions set by the CVLB stand to face a fine of not less than RM1,000 and not more than RM200,000, or a maximum two years’ jail, or both.

On a related matter, a separate bill will look to amend Section 200 of the Land Public Transport Act 2010 to include offences against a person who assaults, hinders, or obstruct those providing ride-hailing services. Those convicted will face a fine of RM1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three months, or both.