Govt has no plans to regulate e-hailing fares, says transport minister

Transport Ministry will look into the development of e-hailing regulations adopted by other countries


THE government currently has no plans to regulate e-hailing fares, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

According to Loke, the ministry will look into the development of e-hailing regulations adopted by other countries and it will collaborate with the e-hailing operators to ensure the fare will not increase drastically.

“We are dynamic and we will always look at the development around us, and we will formulate our policies and make the necessary changes from time to time.

“There are no hard and fast rule as far as any regulation is concerned,” he told reporters during an event to present the public service vehicle (PSV) licences to the specially-abled (OKU) e-hailing drivers in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Speculations are rife on the hike of e-hailing fares after a number of e-hailing drivers reportedly saw a significant reduction following the introduction of PSV licence.

Last week, The Malaysian Reserve highlighted that approximately 16,000 out of 200,000 e-hailing drivers have obtained their PSV licences thus far as the deadline is this Friday, July 12, 2019.

A frequent Grab user yesterday said he had to wait for about 15 minutes for the driver’s arrival and his fare had gone up by as much as RM5 from the normal fare.

“I took Grab from MRT Jalan Semantan to Mont Kiara, and it cost me RM20 on a non-peak hour,” said a Grab user, who declined to be named.

Normal ride fare was usually between RM10 and RM15 for the distance.

Commenting further on the introduction of PSV licence, Loke said the new drivers can still continue to go through the PSV licence process after the deadline and he will table the outcome of the policy (PSV license) to the Cabinet on Friday.

“We want to legalise the industry, that’s why we regulate the industry, it’s for safety reasons — for drivers and passengers,” he said.

At the ceremony yesterday, the minister issued the PSV licences to 209 OKU drivers.

Through the newly introduced PSV licence, a driver now has to sit for a six-hour PSV training programme, followed by a subsidised medical check-up, criminal background test, and annual vehicle check at Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centres (Puspakom).

The new driver also has to purchase e-hailing add-on car insurance and sit for a written exam.

The theoretical test questions for the PSV licence were developed through the Taxi Training and E-Hailing New Training Module Development Committee comprising agencies such as the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, the Road Safety Department, Skills Development Department, Malaysian Road Safety Research Institute and academicians from public universities in Malaysia.