KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — The Transport Ministry is aiming to equalise the playing field between taxis and e-hailing services, as it awarded 147 taxi drivers with individual permits and cash grants today.
Minister Anthony Loke said it is the sixth time they were granted the permits via the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) since March 31 last year.
“Including those granted today, 2,903 individual permits have been issued to taxi drivers and 721 have qualified for the RM5,000 cash grant,” he said during the handover ceremony at the commission’s headquarters.
Loke said the primary objective is to eventually wean taxi drivers off the leasing system where they have to pay a certain amount to cab companies monthly.
“The idea is to increase the quality of life for taxi drivers and ensure their welfare is looked after.
“Yet, at the same time, with the amendments to the Land Public Transportation Act last year, the government can now regulate e-hailing services,” he said.
Loke encouraged the drivers to not view e-hailing negatively, but instead consider it an opportunity to increase their income via the platform.
“It is not easy to change after years of being accustomed to the same system. But we will continue to assist cabbies so they can compete as technologies and trends constantly change,” he said.
Loke also called upon the e-hailing service industry to increase their focus on bringing more drivers onto their platform.