KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Taxi drivers will protest for six consecutive days over the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) move to legalise ride-sharing services of Uber and Grab, Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m) warned.
Its president, Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain, also said that taxi drivers are unhappy that the Cabinet has decided to allow the transport regulator to embrace the two services that they claim have already hurt their business.
“The date (of the protest) has yet to be determined but it will take place,” Kamaruddin was quoted as saying by the New Sunday Times. “Tension between taxi drivers and the ride-hailing services continues to escalate.”
“The goal of the strike is to show the government that the taxi industry is suffering because of the unfair playing field,” he added.
Apart from complaining that drivers from these services were “stealing” their customers, the taxi industry also pointed they were unable to compete with e-hailing services because taxis are bounded by rules set by SPAD.
The government on Thursday gave SPAD the green light to regulate ride-sharing services after its CEO, Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah, presented plans for a revamp to the taxi industry and legalising ride-sharing.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai yesterday said the ride-sharing services will be regulated while the traditional taxi industry will be deregulated.
Taxi drivers have complained that the drivers with the two services were competing unfairly against the former group as they did not have to adhere to the same licensing and regulatory requirement.
Strikes by taxi drivers over Uber and Grab previously caused massive congestion in the city centre whenever these were held, and a six-day long protest could cripple traffic in Kuala Lumpur.
SPAD is expected to call for a press conference to announce more details on the regulation of Uber and GrabCar this week.