SEA Games-Grab Partnership Raises Questions on Ride-Sharing Legality
Malaysian taxi company Big Blue Taxi Facilities (BBTF) Sdn Bhd adviser Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail questions why the Youth and Sports Ministry is partnering Grab for the 2017 KL SEA Games being held from August 19 to 30.
“How can Khairy condone such an illegal activity, especially when the service has not been approved by the government?” asked Shamsubahrin.
A robbery at knife-point by an Uber driver last week has swivelled the spotlight back onto ride-sharing services, specifically the argument from the taxi industry that ride-sharing services are yet to be formally legalised in Malaysia.
“No, it is not illegal,” said its minister Khairy Jamaluddin on the partnership. He points out that the partnership is with Grab, not Uber.
Answer the Question
On regulation and legality of the services, Khairy said:
“The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is the correct authority to look into such matters. Nancy (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri) is best suited to answer these questions.”
Why it Matters
Ride-sharing services in Malaysia is not formally legalised under law despite enjoying tacit support from the authorities. A bill to regulate the services, meant to enhance passenger safety, was expected to be passed in Parliament last April but was held off. Growing safety concerns may add to the urgency of passing the bill into law in the upcoming Parliamentary sitting in July.