The government says that the same regulations imposed on conventional taxi drivers and ride-hailing service providers are meant to ensure the safety of passengers as well as consistency, Bernama reports.

According to minister in the prime minister’s department, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, there was no reason why ride-hailing taxi drivers should be exempt from regulations on the grounds that they offered cheaper fares.

“The regulations imposed on conventional taxi drivers also apply on e-hailing drivers, as this involves security issues,” she said.

On July 27, the Dewan Rakyat passed the bill that empowers the government to regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber and GrabCar. Under the law, ride-hailing drivers are required to register with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and follow requirements similar to that imposed on conventional taxi drivers.

These include health checks, periodic inspection of their vehicles and the display of the SPAD-issued driver’s card in the vehicle. Other rules include compulsory insurance coverage for drivers, passengers, vehicles and third parties by ride-hailing operators.

Nancy added that in order to ensure conventional taxi drivers could compete with ride-hailing drivers, the government will allow them the flexibility of choosing their own vehicles under the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme (TITP). She said under the TITP, a new individual taxi permit will be issued when the lease period expired and a grant aid will be given for the purchase of a new taxi.