MoT warns action against Grab if excess commission not refunded

However, Loke says the issue is a matter of administration and it’s not the ministry’s job to micromanage

by SHAZNI ONG/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE Ministry of Transport (MoT) said it could take action against Grab Malaysia if the e-hailing operator does not reimburse the additional 5% fee to its drivers as promised.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke, however, said he learned that Grab is currently refunding the additional commission fee in phases, and that it would take some time for it to be resolved.

“As a regulator, we have made regulations and if they (Grab) do not abide by our regulations, we can take action against them (Grab).

“However, I was made to understand that Grab has abided by it (regulations), but in terms of the reimbursement, that could take a little longer. I do not want to micromanage on that matter and it is not our job to (micro-manage). The issue is a matter of administration,” he told reporters at the launch of Digi’s Road Safety Programme 2019 in Shah Alam yesterday.

On Wednesday, the Malaysia E-Hailing Association (MeHDA) urged the ministry to take immediate action against Grab for failing to reimburse its drivers the excess commission deducted from them. MeHDA president Daryl Chong said Grab did not honour its words to refund the extra 5% to driver-partners by Aug 5.

Grab, in response said it is refunding the additional 5% fee to all its driver-partners who had chosen to manually accept jobs after July 11 in phases.

The e-hailing operator said it is due to large amounts of active driver-partners on the roads.

Nonetheless, Loke said the refund management issue should be resolved between the company and the drivers.

Previously, drivers taking jobs had two options when they begin each day, to accept any job that comes in, referred to as auto-accept or drivers who choose trips called manual accept.

Auto-accept drivers had 20% commission taken from drivers, but manual ones had 20% commission charged a plus 5% fee to safeguard and compensate other driver-partners each time a ride was ignored or cancelled.

Meanwhile, Loke said the government is looking to finalise on the proposal to provide incentives for prudent drivers soon.

“There are some technical issues that we need to solve but I will make an announcement very soon on that. I’m pushing for that.

“Of course, I know there have been some delays. We wanted to roll it out, but there are some push back and technical issues that needed to be sorted out,” he said.

Loke noted that the government itself does not have the tools and resources to give cash or monetary incentives.

“But what we can do is we can work with the private sector and encourage the private sector to give more incentives.

“I have mentioned that we are working with insurance companies. For example, if the drivers do not have summons, probably we could take a look at giving them further discounts from the existing no claim discount (NCD). Those are the things that we are working on,” he said.

Separately, Loke said he is open to have a standard policy to possibly allow bicycles to be onboard KTM trains, but said the issue needs further study.

While it could complement and improve the last mile connectivity on public transport, Loke said there is a need to look at the overall impact such as the infrastructure and passengers’convenience especially during peak hours.