By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Grab Malaysia is growing weary of the slow progress and delivery by various government agencies that are involved in the process of regulating the e-hailing industry.
The e-hailing giant said in a statement that while it welcomes the decision to regulate the industry, there has been a “lack of transparency and inclusiveness which could lead to higher costs, greater friction” that would also affect the overall service in the industry.
“We express our deep concern that the processes and infrastructure necessary to ensure a seamless transition is being taken too lightly because this affects the entire e-hailing industry which includes drivers and millions of people that rely on the service,” Grab’s statement read.
Grab claimed the Road Transport Department had also suddenly added a barrage of new requirements that were not previously discussed before.
The company said requirements like having fire extinguishers in every car, unique road tax discs and mandatory inspection of cars regardless of age had been added unilaterally without consultation and seemingly without concern for the financial implications to its driver-partners and passengers.
Grab said drivers had already felt the financial burden of the extra cost required when the regulations were initially announced and had voiced their concerns.
Grab claimed that some enforcement agencies have also set unrealistic deadlines in terms of time.
“Whether it is submitting applications for a corporate licence or for training agencies to become accredited, these deadlines will definitely not help build trust within the industry.
“It also makes it obvious that Grab and these agencies are not working together, or they would have been more mindful and conscientious of the process in their time frame,” Grab said.
Reverting to the previous regulations, Grab said the Public Service Vehicle training modules were meant to be implemented last year, but instead, it would only be ready in March 2019, which might create more stress to the drivers.
There is also insufficient e-hailing insurance products in the market and Grab said existing ones would not cater to the vast majority of its drivers.
Meanwhile, Grab said it’s looking forward to meeting with Transport Minister Anthony Loke soon to resolve these issues.
Grab added that the growing concerns had caused uncertainties as the deadline looms ahead with no clear or responsive communication from enforcement agencies.