The government says a new system to replace the public service vehicle (PSV) license will be introduced. Set to regulate and enable fair competition between Uber, Grab and taxis, this is expected to be finalised as early as January next year, Berita Harian reports.

The move follows amendments made to the Land Public Transport Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 to regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber and GrabCar, which were tabled and passed by the Dewan Rakyat in July, minister in the prime minister’s department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said.

The amendments to the rules of licensing procedures covering ride-hailing and regular taxi services are being discussed by the land public transport commission (SPAD) and the road transport department (JPJ). The amendments will not have would not have to be tabled again in parliament, but just gazetted after negotiations with the ministry of transport are completed, she said.

“As soon as the amendments are complete, there will be no difference in Uber, Grab and taxis, and they can compete to provide public transport service to consumers,” she told the publication.

Commenting on the developments, Nancy said Malaysia had its own approach in formulating appropriate policies to regulate Uber and Grab’s services. She added that the government did not want the country’s taxi service industry to drop out of the modernisation cycle which now sees public transport operations relying heavily on smartphone-based applications.

She said that while taxi drivers are still valuable public transport providers, they need a shift in operating procedures to keep pace with the current market demand.