PETALING JAYA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) cannot be trusted, a taxi association has declared following the authority’s decision to regulate ride share services like Grab and Uber.
Taxi Drivers Transformation Association (Pers1m) Deputy Chairman Kamarudin Mohd Hussain pointed out that SPAD Chairman Syed Hamid Albar had previously dismissed a proposal by the Opposition to issue permits to all taxi drivers on the grounds that it would affect their income and destabilise the industry.
Kamarudin argued SPAD’s decision to regulate Uber and Grab was ”atrocious and despicable” when compared with the Opposition’s proposal prior to the 13thGeneral Election.
“This also shows you cannot believe whatever promises the government made before the general election,” he said in a statement.
In pouring cold water on SPAD’s blueprint to reform the industry – which was launched today – Kamarudin said he did not see how the plan would improve the industry or help taxi drivers increase their income.
“It will ruin the taxi industry.”
He went on to label SPAD’s town hall briefing for taxi drivers, held earlier today on the transformation plan for the taxi industry, as a sideshow in a bid to make it seem like the authority had consulted all stakeholders.
Kamarudin said SPAD could not explain how legalising ride share services would create a level playing field for both taxis and Uber or Grab.
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.
This led people to look for the alternative services now readily available via their apps on their handphones.
An estimated 150,000 new individual taxi, Uber and Grab drivers are expected to be providing services to the public over the next three years.
There are some 77,000 registered taxi drivers nationwide at present.
Last week, it was reported that the Cabinet had given SPAD the green light to regulate Uber and Grab. The commission will now work on amending existing laws and possibly enacting new laws to allow ride sharing services to be regulated at the next Parliament sitting in November.
The news did not sit well with taxi drivers, with the Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association threatening a weeklong strike against the government’s decision.