KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — A group claiming to represent some 3,000 taxi drivers today filed a lawsuit at the High Court here to compel the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to ban ride-sharing services Uber and Grabcar for allegedly stealing their customers.
According to the Association for the Transformation of Malaysian Taxi Drivers (PERS1M), it is also seeking for the court to declare both rival services illegal and to prevent SPAD from legalising either firm’s offerings.
“We also want SPAD to issue a circular on our demands,” PERS1M deputy president Kamarudin Mohd Hussain told reporters after filing the case through lawyer R. Kengadharan.
The lawsuit was filed by 102 drivers, but Kamarudin claimed at least 800 were in attendance.
Kengadharan explained that ride-sharing services did not fall under any category of commercial vehicles as listed under the SPAD Act 2010.
“And under Section 256 of the Act, SPAD is allowed to take serious action against these groups by halting their activities,” he said.
Kengadharan also said PERS1M will file lawsuits against the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block it from accepting the apps for Uber and GrabCar.
Separately, Kengadharan added that he will assist PERS1M to form a taxi drivers’ union with the Registrar of Society next year, saying this would give the group more leverage on such issues.
Taxi drivers and firms have complained that Uber and GrabCar vehicles are competing unfairly as they do not face the same legal requirements as the former groups. They have also accused the SPAD of failing to act against the two services that they insist are illegal.
The acrimony has resulted in sometimes violent altercations involving irate taxi drivers and those from the two ride-sharing services.
Uber and GrabCar are competing firms that operate ride-sharing services in which private vehicle owners may offer transport services for hire without the permits and licences needed to operate a commercial taxi. – MMO.