Ride sharing legalised, but operations don’t offer protection, says 4PAM

ajit-johl

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Public Transport Users Association (4PAM) has urged the transport ministry and Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to explain how amendments made to the Land Public Transport (LPT) Act 2010 would provide for safety of passengers.

This follows the passing of amendments to the LPT Act and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) Act 1987 in the Dewan Rakyat on July 27.

The amendments state that all e-hailing service providers will be required to meet conditions similar to those placed on conventional taxi drivers.

This includes registering to operate a public service vehicle, undergoing compulsory medical check-ups, undergoing periodic vehicle inspections, having proper insurance schemes and displaying the driver’s identification card.

In a statement issued today, 4PAM president Ajit Johl said although the recent amendments were good for the ride share industry, it did not offer users any protection.

“The Road Transport Act clearly states that private vehicles cannot be used for commercial purposes.

“Ride share drivers are clearly in violation of this and as a result an insurance company can deny claims.”

He said that while there was a new industry recognised legally, the providers of the service are left committing a serious traffic violation.

“With the new demerit system in place, every driver of the ride share industry is committing an offence.

“This is outrageous! We have lawmakers and regulators who are oblivious to simple facts.”

He also urged the transport ministry to clarify whether all stakeholders were consulted before coming to a decision and asked that a document with a list of organisations that were consulted be made public.

In recent reports, Nancy Shukri, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had denied as baseless, allegations that the Taxi Industry Transformation Plan (TITP) is only to protect the interest of e-hailing companies.

“The TITP was developed after a detailed study and continuous consultation with all stakeholders in the industry to ensure that all players enjoy the benefits equally,” she said.

Ajit questioned when these consultations were held.

“When were these surveys, roundtable discussions and meetings held? It’s very upsetting, being the largest group of users of any service in the country, we do not get basic protection.”

He said the attitude of lawmakers towards the safety of ride share users was “extremely disturbing”, especially after recent incidents involving ride share users.

“The act has taken the industry back instead of forward.

“The way forward is the creation of a Public Transport Tribunal, consisting of representatives from all stakeholders. Users should be able to address their grievances there.

“The current mechanism, where SPAD plays the role of judge and jury is clearly failing.

“We hope the prime minister brings SPAD under the jurisdiction of the transport ministry or creates a new land transport ministry.

“This is a huge industry with huge responsibilities involving billions of the rakyat’s money.”