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PUBLISHED: Oct 28, 2015 3:10pm

Uber is illegal, SPAD mulls new law to tackle issue

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THE RAKYAT POST By:
QURNISHA HAMKA & SM AMIN

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim says drivers wishing to provide such service must possess a Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)-issued licence and permit. — File pic credit Uber

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28, 2015:

Automated smartphone taxi booking system Uber is illegal due to the fact that its drivers operate without a licence or permit, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

According to Shahidan, drivers wishing to provide such a service must possess a Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)-issued licence and permit.

“Bookings through Uber application are meant to pair up the customers with unregistered taxi drivers, but using personal or rented vehicle for the service is an offence.

“Personal vehicles are only to be used for personal purposes and it can’t be utilised for commercial purposes such as to generate income through wages or fees.

“Using the vehicles (rented or personal) to provide a taxi service is a criminal offence under Section 16 of the Land Public Transport Act 2010, which clearly states that only those with an operator licence can provide public vehicle services,” said Shahidan in the Parliament, today.

He was replying to a question posed by Dr Lee Boon Chye (Gopeng-PKR) who asked about the government’s effort in assisting taxi drivers and operators in competing against Uber drivers.

Shahidan also listed several other efforts the government had undertaken, such as a face-to-face meeting with Uber management to discuss the issues that had arisen from the service.

On top of that, a written notice had been circulated reminding licensed taxi operators to restrain from committing acts that were against the law.

“In the long run, SPAD is considering introducing or amending an Act to monitor and control taxi booking system through smartphone applications, to ensure the nation’s taxi industry is able to provide the safest and most satisfactory service to consumers.”

Uber had long been resisted by certain quarters, especially local taxi drivers who disliked Uber service which had rivaled and surpassed theirs, affecting their income.

However, the public, who had over time expressed preference for Uber services, had created a petition online to support its continuation.

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