Cabbies and car rental group want taxi-hailing apps banned

Cabbies and car rental group want taxi-hailing apps banned
PHOTO: Lester Kong

KUALA LUMPUR - Upset with what it feels is unfair competition, the Malaysian Taxi Drivers, Limousine and Car Rental Operators Association (Petekma) has submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister which calls for a ban on taxi-hailing applications.

This was one of Petekma's four proposals submitted to the Government for the Budget 2016.

Its president Mohd Syahrir Abdul Aziz said taxi-hailing applications such as Uber and Grab Car were operating as taxis and he claimed that passengers were facing risks as such services were not regulated by the authorities.

"Out of nowhere, they are doing the same business as us, but they remain unregulated without having to pay for insurance or any extra processing fees and inspection from Puspakom.

"What if anything happens? Who will take the blame?" he said to reporters after its annual general meeting yesterday.

The Budget 2016, scheduled to be tabled in Parliament next Friday by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, is expected to focus on strengthening growth, expanding inclusiveness and fiscal sustainability.

He said Uber drivers who wanted to be part of the taxi business should go through similar processes and get certification from the Land Public Transport Commission.

"They have to apply for the permit, and go through inspections and other stringent procedures.

"We also want the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to consider banning the application as we are unsure of the safety of their services," he said.

The memorandum was submitted to the Government's socio-cultural adviser Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, who is also Petekma's adviser.

Other proposals from Petekma, which boasts 189 branches across the country, included the postponement on the increase of NGV fuel price, a further delay in raising toll prices and lower Goods and Service Tax (GST) charges for the public transport industry.

Earlier, Rais urged taxi drivers to take steps to fight the negative perception about the industry.

"Perhaps it's best for taxi drivers to consider undergoing courtesy courses to improve their services.

"We must provide basic courtesy to our customers," he said.

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