Instead of imposing an outright ban on e-hailing services, the government will create a level playing field for e-hailing drivers and taxi drivers by subjecting both parties to the same laws and regulations, says deputy transport minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar.

According to The Star, Kamarudin said that the government has no intention to abolish e-hailing services, as it has complemented the public transport system and is already a worldwide phenomenon.

“In principle, the ministry has agreed that we want to impose the same law and regulations on both e-hailing and taxi drivers, so no one will have any advantages when carrying out their services,” he said.

He explained that the process of creating a level playing field will be implemented in stages to ensure smooth operation for all parties, adding that the process will begin on January 1 next year and expected to be completed within a period of six months.

“We are currently trying to implement it, but it will take some time. We were informed that there are about 600,000 people who are involved in providing e-hailing services in the country. (We need time) Or else it would be impossible for Puspakom and other relevant agencies to cope with the inspections, but we are confident of implementing it,” he said.

As for the incident involving a group of angry taxi drivers in Langkawi during a dialogue between cabbies and the prime minister, Kamarudin said Tun Dr Mahathir, who is also the Langkawi MP, actually truly cares about the welfare of taxi drivers and the people. “Whatever was raised by the group will be addressed and brought to the cabinet so it can be settled. For me, such rude action should not have happened towards a leader of the country,” he noted.

More recently, a group of disgruntled taxi drivers held a protest in front of the finance ministry over claims that Grab was putting a dent into their business. What’s your take on this, folks?