Minister trying to resolve taxi operators’ grouses over competition from e-hailing apps
KUCHING: Taxi and transportation e-hailing app operators have been encouraged to work together to find a solution for both parties to continue operating.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, who met with Kuching Division Bumiputera Taxi Association members during a breaking of the fast event on Friday, told reporters she understands the needs of both parties.
“There has got to be a solution and we will work hard to find it. I have asked all taxi associations to list down what are their demands and terms if they want to form a co-existence with transportation services provided through e-hailing app operators in the future,” she said.
It is understood that taxi operators are concerned about the government’s approval in principle of proposals under the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme (TITP), including amendments related to e-hailing.
In April, Nancy tabled a bill to amend the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 and Land Public Transport Act 2010 in Parliament, which aims to regulate e-hailing services by proposing, among others, that vehicles used for the service be subject to the intermediation business licence.
Taxi operators in Sarawak are worried that the amendment would further strengthen e-hailing services.
“Even now, when they are barely legal, they are robbing us of our income and killing the taxi industry. What more to say when they do become regulated,” said Kuching Division Bumiputera Taxi Association president Sapawi Mohd Suut.
He pointed out that driving taxis is the only source of income for members.
E-hailing services run by Uber and GrabCar are currently operating in the state.