Tuesday’s unveiling of the Taxi Industry Transformation Plan (TITP) was anti-climactic. The press conference held by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) didn’t live up to the hype that preceded it.
While the plan does address some important questions about the regulation of e-hailing services and the improvement of taxi services for the benefit of both passengers and operators, it turns out that some issues are yet to be settled.
It was as if the Cabinet rushed to approve the plan and instructed SPAD to announce it quickly because it felt that public pressure had become too heavy for it to sustain.
SPAD gave only a rough outline of how it intends to transform the industry through 11 initiatives. To be fair, these initiatives look excellent on paper, but we’ll have to wait for the details to give a definitive assessment.
One of the initiatives is to ensure that taxi drivers will no longer be subject to cruel hire purchase agreements with big taxi companies. There’s also a plan to set KPIs for taxi operators and to liberalise the vehicle model choice.
It would indeed be an understatement to say that these measures will have a positive impact on the industry.
But the crucial question that remains unanswered is when these initiatives will be implemented. When can Malaysians expect this transformation to be completed?
After all the talk about transforming the industry, this plan must not end up as just another one that fails because of poor implementation. Malaysians have seen enough of good ideas never advancing beyond rhetoric.
Understandably, transforming our taxi industry cannot be an overnight job, but the public must be informed as to when SPAD can deliver on its promises of transformation. How else can taxpayers measure SPAD’s KPI?
SPAD must be clear on what exactly it plans to do, how it is going to do it and, most important, when it will do it.