Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has promised to look further into e-hailing applications should Pakatan Harapan win in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14). The former prime minister, who is contesting the Langkawi parliamentary seat, said the move will help taxi drivers and those operating rental cars, Sinar Harian reports.

UPDATE: The source report erroneously said Tun M would abolish e-hailing services, but we’ve updated the story to reflect what he said more accurately, which is to study the matter further.

“The Grab problem is not just in Langkawi but all over Malaysia. Grab is detrimental to normal taxi drivers. This matter will be studied so that the taxi service will be fair to all, this will be done when we take over the government later,” he said.

Ride-sharing solutions, which have generally provided a more effective and cheaper public transportation option than regular taxis, have long been viewed by the taxi industry as a threat to its livelihood.

However, the service is also now being used as a platform for Malaysians to increase their income, with some making it their primary source of income, and so any move to change this will also impact a great number of people, not just economically – there would be much fewer mobility options as well.

Other news reports indicate that at least 50,000 registered Grab drivers would be affected if Grab and similar ride-sharing applications are curbed in any way.

Earlier this month, it was reported that as of April 6, all e-hailing drivers are now subject to the same regulations and requirements as taxi drivers. According to caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, the government was aware that taxi drivers face many obstacles and challenges.

“I am aware that the income of taxi drivers has been somewhat affected by the existence of e-hailing services in our country. The e-hailing service has a demand but we have to do something through government intervention to protect the rice bowl of the taxi drivers,” he said.

What do you think about plans to relook e-hailing services? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.