PETALING JAYA: The decision to legalise Uber and Grab was made in the interest of the public, and to satisfy the needs of the rakyat.
Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz said that in approving the ride-sharing services, the government was being objective, The Sun reported.
“We have no problem to regulate Uber and Grab because that’s what people want. We are guided by the interest of the public.
“The consumers are far more important in this aspect than taxi drivers. What people want and like to use are the main factors in our decision for Uber and Grab to be regulated.
“There is no way Uber will be banned (in Malaysia),” Nazri was quoted as saying by the daily.
He added that as the Tourism Minister, he is certainly in favour of tech-based initiatives for public transport services.
“They (Uber and Grab) are very much competitive and sometimes, they can provide cheaper fares than conventional taxis, which is good for the public and tourists.”
He urged taxi drivers to view the legalisation of the ride-sharing apps as a wake-up call by getting their act together, and to improve on their services.
“They (taxi drivers) are making a big mistake if they continue to blackmail us,” he said, referring to threats by taxi groups saying they won’t vote for the ruling party.
Yesterday, it was reported that the Cabinet had given SPAD the green light to regulate Uber and Grab.
SPAD will now work on the necessary amendments to existing laws and possible enactment of new ones for the relevant government agencies, to allow for the legalisation of Uber and Grab services, at the next Parliament sitting in November.
Last year, a survey conducted by SPAD revealed that some 80 per cent of Malaysians prefer Uber and Grab over taxis.
The emergence of Uber and Grab in recent times has led to discontent among taxi drivers, resulting in protests and even cases of assault against Uber and Grab drivers.
Taxi drivers have long been accused of overcharging customers and refusing to take customers to their destinations, resulting in dissatisfaction which has led people to look for the alternative services now available.