New laws proposed to deal with Uber-like transport services

22 Jul 2015 / 11:28 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Mobile app companies providing illegal public transport services could soon face the full force of the law.
Several amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010 are on the cards to give the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) the authority to take action.
Expected to be tabled in Parliament in October, the amendments would include the provision to regulate mobile app providers offering any public transport, commercial transport and delivery services.
This comes in the wake of difficulties faced by SPAD to rein in foreign and local mobile apps such as Uber, GrabCar, Blacklane, EasyTaxi and other app developers for offering illegal public transport services.
The proposed move will also deal with future apps that facilitate car pooling or the charging of passengers using unlicensed vehicles.
In an interview with theSun, SPAD CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said the proposed amendment would exert control over mobile app companies acting as a medium for public transport service.
"We want to ensure that such services adhere to the service level and regulations set by us," he said.
Nur Ismal said there is nothing wrong with any mobile app offering public transport services but the service is considered illegal when the app despatches a driver without a PSV licence and driving a private vehicle with no valid permit.
Stating that the current law is silent on mobile apps offering public transport services, SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said that Uber and GrabCar have been exploiting the regulatory gap between SPAD and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) over its ride-hailing concept via an app.
"The proposed amendments will plug the loopholes and address the Uber and GrabCar issues. SPAD is consulting the Attorney-General's Chambers to draft the new law," he said.
However, Syed Hamid stressed that the proposal to regulate mobile apps is not a move to legalise Uber as a matchmaker for transport services using private vehicles.
"We are trying to ensure all matters pertaining to public transport come under us and in future, we can take action directly against the parties involved should they breach the law," he added.

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