Uber and Grab to be legalized in Malaysia by the end of 2016
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Singapore's Grab is Uber's major challenger in Southeast Asia (image credit, Grab)

All details agreed to by the country’s cabinet will be revealed to the public early next week

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Ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab will be legalised in Malaysia after the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) received an approval from the government to regulate the services by the end of 2016, according to a report by The Sun Daily.

During a cabinet meeting on August 10, SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah presented the commission’s proposal to revamp the conventional taxi industry and expand transport services in the country by legalizing Uber and Grab services.

The presentation focused on 11 main initiatives, which include improving the Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M) model, streamlining the budget cabs fleet, providing individual taxi permits to conventional cabbies with good and clean track records, and a suggestion for a special fund for new taxi vehicles, among others.

Around 150,000 new individual permit holders, consisting of Uber, Grab and conventional taxi drivers are estimated to co-exist in the market in the next three years.

According to the report, a SPAD spokesman said all details agreed to by the Cabinet would be revealed to the public early next week.

Malaysia has had its fair share of Uber and Grab controversies. In November 2015, about 250 taxi drivers marched against Uber and Grab in Kuala Lumpur.

In June 2016, taxi drivers in Penang went on a four-hour strike to protest against Uber and Grab services in the state.

There were also reports of taxi drivers attacking the locals and tourists who used Uber and Grab services in Malaysia. In a local case involving an Uber driver and an Iranian couple, the three were pulled out of the car before taxi drivers used rocks to break the car window.

This article originally appeared at Tech in Asia.

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