KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) today warned taxi drivers against holding a six-day protest over the legalisation of ride-sharing services, saying any driver found obstructing traffic will be suspended.
SPAD corporate communications head Radha Warrier said they discouraged taxi drivers from participating in any such assembly as it would result congestion and disruptions to other road users.
“Our advice is for them to reconsider such moves as they will result in traffic obstruction and inconvenience the public. Hence, PDRM and SPAD will take necessary actions against drivers who obstruct traffic,” she said referring to the acronym for Royal Malaysia Police.
“If proven guilty, we will suspend (their) driver’s card.”
Urging patience, she added that SPAD’s plans to transform the taxi industry included improving the drivers’ welfare and their income, with further details to be revealed in a press conference later this week.
City police chief Datuk Amar Singh said separately that they have yet to receive any notice for the planned protest and will take action if the protest does not comply with the law.
“It all depends on the type of protest they hold. As long within the boundaries of law, it is okay. But if it is out, we will definitely take action,” he told Malay Mail Online.
Yesterday, Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m) president Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain reportedly said taxi drivers will protest for six consecutive days over SPAD’s move to legalise Uber and Grab although they have yet to set the date.
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 said on Friday 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.
Protests by taxi drivers over Uber and Grab previously caused massive congestion in the city centre whenever these were held, and a six-day long strike could cripple traffic in Kuala Lumpur.