Road clear for Grab, Uber

Road clear for Grab, Uber”

Singapore-based Grab operates private auto, motorcycle, taxi and car-pooling services across seven countries with 1.1 million drivers, and claims a market share of 95 percent in third-party taxi-hailing and 71 percent in private vehicle hailing in Southeast Asia.

The regulatory bodies will be the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) in peninsular Malaysia and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) in Sabah and Sarawak.

On top of the permit, drivers will also need to undergo a screening process by the Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Road Transport Department to obtain a driver's card, which will be issued by the SPAD.

Yesterday, Malaysian parliament voted to pass two bills that would legalize app hailing services like Grab and Uber, making the race between the two for Southeast Asian domination just a little bit hotter.

Both Grab and Uber recently launched operations in Myanmar, aiming to capitalize on the country's burgeoning mobile services market.

Besides that, taxi and e-hailing drivers will be subject to the same checks and tests that taxi drivers now undergo.

The amended law introduces a new section to regulate licensing, the intermediation business including application, conditions, renewal and revoking of the licences issued by SPAD.

"Allegations that the amendments are to protect the interests of huge e-hailing corporations are baseless since the results of studies and stakeholder consultations have ensured that everyone will benefit", she said when winding up the debate on points raised with her ministry.

"With the passing of the bill, it will be an offence to operate intermediation business without a licence, and licence holders will be compelled to keep accounts and records", Nancy said.

Operators applying for the licence must pay a fee and provide information on their financial status to prove their ability to operate and maintain the intermediation business. Nancy said the government the amendments could be implemented within a year of gazettement.

On the other hand, vehicles aged less than three years will be exempted from the periodical checks.

Uber Malaysia head of communications, Leigh Wong said the recognition underlined the government's support for the innovative business model of the e-hailing service as an important driver of economic growth, providing new, cost-effective transportation options and helping address challenges of congestion and pollution.

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