‘Khazanah, GLICs’ Uber investment not brought up in Parliament’

nancy-uberPETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri says Liew Chin Tong did not bring up the issue of Khazanah Nasional and other GLICs’ investing in e-hailing service Uber, in the Dewan Rakyat.

In an outright denial of the claim made by DAP’s Liew yesterday, Nancy, who oversees the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), said the issue was never raised during the parliamentary debate after the government tabled the Land Public Transport (Amendment) Bill 2017 in July.

Yesterday, Liew, who is Kluang MP, had specifically mentioned the matter when commenting on a Bloomberg report which alleged a link between such investments, as well as a payment to Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), and the government legalising e-hailing services.

“During the parliamentary debate, I asked Nancy to provide details regarding the investments of Khazanah and other GLICs in Uber, but to no avail,” Liew had said in his statement.

Meanwhile, in response to the Bloomberg report, Nancy told FMT there was also no truth to claims of a “quid pro quo” arrangement that resulted in the government legalising e-hailing services.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg had reported that Uber’s law firm was said to be investigating a corporate donation, announced in August 2016, of tens of thousands of dollars to MaGIC.

The report also linked the US$30 million investment in Uber by Malaysian pension fund, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), to the alleged payment, citing people familiar with the deal.

Taxi Industry Transformation Programme

Nancy reiterated the government’s commitment to transforming the taxi industry as well as the e-hailing services had already been in the works over the past few years.

She pointed out that efforts by SPAD to transform the taxi industry started in 2012, and was firmed up by early 2016 with a plan called the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme (TITP).

“The government put into motion initiatives to transform the taxi industry since Jan 2012, ahead of Uber’s entry into Malaysia in 2014, and the debut of homegrown MyTeksi in June 2012 (subsequently rebranded as Grab in Jan 2016).

“The existence of e-hailing players were taken into consideration in the formulation of transformation strategies for the taxi industry by SPAD, with a Lab that took feedback from stakeholders in Dec 2015.

“This eventually led to a plan called the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme (TITP), which contains 11 initiatives, including regulating the e-hailing business,” she said of the plan which was eventually approved by the cabinet in August 2016.

Nancy added that the use of e-hailing apps is also recognised by taxi companies, highlighting four of which had launched their own apps – 2GO (December 2016), eevom (June 2017), EzCab (July 2017), and PICKnGO (August 2017).

“The proposed amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010, and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Act 1987, were then debated in Parliament, and due process was followed in the passing of the amendments on July 27, 2017 in the Dewan Rakyat,” she said.

 

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