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JPJ, SPAD & PDRM to hunt down Uber car drivers

Malaysia’s Road Transport Department (JPJ), Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) will soon hunt down Uber car drivers in Klang Valley and Johor Bahru that don’t have the necessary driving license, according to local news reports.

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JPJ director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad said the use of private vehicles to pick up passengers is a violation under Section 16 of the Land Public Transportation Act 2010. He said individuals could be fined not exceeding RM10,000, imprisonment up to one year or both, if found guilty. The crackdown starts October 1, it does not affect individuals and companies with the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) driving license. 

“Ini bagaikan teksi sapu. Kita banyak terima aduan daripada pengusaha teksi kerana ia telah mengancam industri teksi di negara ini. Perkara ini perlu dibendung agar pengusaha teksi tidak terjejas,”(Translation “It’s like private taxis. We received many complaints from taxi companies as it has threatened the taxi industry in this country. This matter needs to be curbed so that taxi operators are not affected,”) reports Bernama.

JPJ said it detects about 50 cars including luxury cars like Jaguar and Mercedes Benz currently operating under the Uber service. In addition to offering individual Uber service (individual drivers), eight local limousine companies were also identified as Uber partners, added JPJ. MalaysianWireless learned that some of the major Uber-limousine partners in Malaysia include TrupCo, Extreme Limousines & Tours, Pacific Rent-A-Car (PRAC), Sunlight Limousine, Goodwill Limo and Tours, plus few more.

In August, the Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GABUNGAN) has called on SPAD to take action against Uber. Bernama also quoted Sunlight Radio Taxi Service Sdn Bhd executive director Ab Jalil Maarof saying that action against Uber was necessary as the company was using private cars and unlicensed ‘taxi’ drivers. “It can be pretty dangerous for passengers. For their own safety, consumers are advised not to opt for the transport service offered by Uber,” he said.

he Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GABUNGAN) has called on – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ubers-service-affecting-income-of-kl-cab-drivers-taxi-association-claims#sthash.PKWcf0em.dpuf

In response, SPAD gave Uber a warning and asked it to comply with Malaysian law. SPAD said there had been several issues with regards to Uber, such as using private vehicles to carry fare-paying passengers which is an offence under the Land Public Transport Act 2010. Some of the drivers did not have a Public Service Vehicle driving license, which is also an offence under the Road Transport Act 1987.

The commission said vehicles currently used by Uber were not covered by commercial insurance and some might not go through Puspakom’s semi-annual inspection.

The challenges that Uber face in Malaysia is not unique. As Uber become popular all around the world, it faces regulatary opposition in countries like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States and India.

SPAD added that while services provided by Uber presented a challenging issue to many public transport regulators around the world, SPAD was taking a more “pragmatic approach” and was ready to allow Uber’s service as long as the services were provided by appropriately licensed vehicles and drivers.

SPAD said there had been several issues with regards to Uber, such as using private vehicles to carry fare-paying passengers which is an offence under the Land Public Transport Act 2010.

Some of the company’s drivers did not have a Public Service Vehicle driving license, which is also an offence under the Road Transport Act 1987.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/spad-uber-must-comply-with-malaysian-law#sthash.qDMhKcn2.dpuf

Uber KL in a blog post said that it “delivers safe, reliable and convenient alternatives to Malaysians”.

“Uber welcomes the chance to discuss with government and non-government officials how innovation can help transform KL’s transportation system. Having meaningful conversations based on facts is important to us.” it said.

Uber is a US based technology company that provides consumers with an on-demand, private and luxury car service via smartphone application. As of September 2014, the Uber service was available in 45 countries and more than 100 cities worldwide, and was valued at more than US$15 billion.  The company first launched its services in June 2010 in San Francisco, United States.

The premium Uber Black service was officially launched in Malaysia in mid January 2014. Some of the luxury vehicles used in Klang Valley include Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Teana, Mercedes E-class & other. A cheaper than taxi service, uberX was officially launched in Malaysia in early August 2014. Some of the uberX cars in the Klang Valley include Nissan Almera, Perodua Myvi, Toyota Vios, Honda City and Perodua Viva.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy