Don’t swindle drivers out of their share, transport minister warns e-hailing operators

Loke warned that e-hailing operators can have their license revoked, should they try to bend the law. — TODAY pic
Loke warned that e-hailing operators can have their license revoked, should they try to bend the law. — TODAY pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — Transport Minister Anthony Loke today warned e-hailing operators (EHOs) against collecting more than the maximum 20 per cent commission from their drivers under different pretexts.

In a press conference, Loke said that his ministry has identified some EHOs who have been collecting more than the fixed commission rate by labelling the additional charges differently.

“I want to remind all EHOs that the enforcement and the rules which we have decided, take effect today,” Loke said.

“It is applicable to EHO companies which are registered. If there are any unregistered ones and they have been operating, they have then violated the existing laws and action will be taken against them.

“The permitted commission is a maximum of 20 per cent, and there cannot be additional commission charges. If they impose additional commission, we will take action on these companies,” h added.

“We know that they are trying to play with words. We know that they are trying to beat the system by not calling it [the 20 per cent] a commission, but a fee, a charge and all that. This is not allowed.”

When asked about the details of the company involved in such a practise, Loke stopped short of naming the company, merely saying that the ministry already has intelligence on the EHO.

“I do not want to name names. But if they do not follow, they try to test us, then we will take action against them. We know who they are. We know which particular company,” Loke added.

Loke said that the particular EHO imposes a five per cent fee, in additional to the 20 per cent commission to its drivers.

He warned that EHOs can also have their license revoked, should they try to bend the law.

Last year, Loke announced that Grab and other e-hailing drivers will be regulated under the same licensing conditions as taxi drivers beginning today.

He also announced a slew of new regulations that he said will even the playing field for taxi and e-hailing drivers.

Like taxi drivers, e-hailing drivers will be required to undergo regular car inspections, health inspections and renew their driver’s card annually.

All the new regulations will take effect on July 12, with a one-year moratorium given to drivers and companies to comply with them beginning July 12 last year.

Putrajaya will also impose a new commission cap for e-hailing firms, Loke said.

As a result, firms are not allowed to collect more than 10 per cent commission from taxi drivers using their platform, and not more than 20 per cent commission from other drivers.

To protect drivers, all firms are required to set up a mechanism for their drivers to file complaints.

Taxi drivers who wish to join e-hailing platforms will be given a RM 5,000 incentive by the government to purchase new vehicles. The same incentive will also be given to cabbies whose lease permits with taxi companies have ended and now wish to buy their own individual vehicles.

The regulation changes will be brought under the Land Public Transport Act (Amendment 2017), Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Act (Amendment 2017).

Both amendments were brought about in 2016 by the previous government to require e-hailing firms to be licensed by the government.

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