Speaking to The Sun, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar lamented that the commission is being made the scapegoat over issues concerning ride-sharing services such as Uber and GrabCar.
According to the report, Syed Hamid said certain quarters, including government agencies, have been dodging responsibility in solving the illegal taxi services offered through smartphone apps.
“Many people are just happy to point fingers at SPAD, even though that’s not our area of responsibility. In the end, we have been blamed for many things, we are like a punching bag, while the media are happy to provide space to hit out at SPAD,” he said.
He also claimed that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has evaded its responsibility to take action against the ride-sharing apps. On Nov 30, Communications and Multimedia deputy minister Datuk Jailani Johari had told the Dewan Rakyat that MCMC had yet to receive a request from SPAD to take action against Uber app.
“It is not true that SPAD didn’t contact MCMC on Uber app or request them to take action. We have had meetings with MCMC about this for quite a while. We had several discussions and they (MCMC) are not willing to do that as it may be read as interfering with the internet or censoring an app service,” claimed Syed Hamid.
He also condemned the Transport Ministry for its statement on “legalising” the ride-sharing services.
“This topic of legalising never arises at all. SPAD’s position is very clear from the beginning – legalising Uber does not arise and statements coming from the Transport Ministry are confusing and making us (SPAD) look bad as if we are set to execute this move of legalising Uber.”
“It was the Transport Ministry which made the statements while SPAD has yet to make any announcement or finalise our plan with regards to Uber, GrabCar or any ride-hailing apps which utilise private vehicles. And I am surprised that the Transport Ministry is getting ahead of themselves,” he added.
When asked about some of the taxi drivers’ planned legal action against SPAD, Syed Hamid said: “In the first place, they (cabbies) are taking legal action based on speculation. As far as we are concerned, we have not made any decision (on Uber). I think the taxi drivers are pointing their finger at the wrong party here.”