Despite cabbies’ protest, minister says proceeding to streamline e-hailing, taxi services

Anthony Loke rejected allegations that the Transport Ministry did not consult taxi operators before announcing the new regulations. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Anthony Loke rejected allegations that the Transport Ministry did not consult taxi operators before announcing the new regulations. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KAJANG, July 19 — The government will press ahead with new regulations to unify e-hailing and taxis regardless of renewed objections from cab operators, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Speaking to reporters at the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), Loke rejected allegations that his ministry did not consult taxi operators’ associations before announcing the new regulations.

“We give them a year to comply with the new regulations. We have met with the e-hailing service provider and had explained to them the direction we are taking. They have the responsibility to explain this to their drivers.

“It is not true that we did not have any engagement, this is a lie... we had met with the taxi operators’ groups beforehand. Those who demonstrated recently were also present at the engagement session,” he said, referring to a protest held staged by some 200 taxi drivers outside the Parliament on Monday.

“We will not negotiate on this. What has been announced will continue,” he added.

Loke reiterated that the slew of new regulations will level the playing field for taxi and e-hailing drivers to enable both to abide by the same rules.

“Prior to this, what was applicable to taxi drivers was not adhered to by e-hailing drivers.

“Now we want them to adhere to the same rules and they will have to compete with one another to provide a better service,” he said.

On Monday, the Association for the Transformation of Malaysian Taxi Drivers gathered at Padang Merdeka to voice their disagreement over the new regulations on e-hailing services, which was announced on July 11.

The new regulations took effect the following day on July 12, with a one-year moratorium given to drivers and companies to comply with them.

The regulation requires e-hailing drivers to also undergo regular car inspections, health inspections and renew their driver’s card annually.

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