KUCHING: There is practically no specific regulations or Act to govern ride-sharing app Uber operations in the country.
According to state Road Transport Department (RTD) assistant director (enforcement) Albert Clement, Uber was not prohibited under any laws in the country, and there was no special Act to govern Uber at the moment.
“As far as the Road Transport Act 1987 is concerned, the driver is only required to have a valid driving licence, road tax and first party (comprehensive) insurance to cover the driver and passengers in accidents,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Albert’s comment was echoed by state traffic investigation and enforcement deputy chief DSP Alexson Naga Chabu, who said the police had not been instructed to take action against or monitor Uber.
“We have never received any instruction to conduct operation on Uber because there has been no problem and no complaints received from anyone so far.”
Uber, which started operation yesterday, is essentially a technology platform that connects supply with demand. Uber is known globally as a transportation network company that connects independent operators with riders.
Based on the feedback from a rider who used the service from Kuching International Airport to Merdeka Palace Hotel yesterday, the final fare was less than half of what it would cost using a regular taxi. The fare charged by Uber for the journey was just RM11 while a regular taxi would charge RM25.
The arrival of Uber in the state is met with concern by taxi operators. They are worried their ‘rice bowl’ would be affected if
Uber were allowed to operate here.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri recently said Uber would be operating illegally as it had not applied for a permit from the state Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB).
According to her, Uber must apply for a permit as stipulated under Section 51 of the CVLB Act in order to operate private taxi services here.
In his response to Nancy’s statement, Uber Everywhere (Malaysia) general manager Kenny Choong said Uber was not a taxi operator and he wondered what sort of registration was required.
He pointed out that in some cases, current regulations did not cover what Uber was all about.-BP