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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New laws tabled to regulate ride-hailing, protect drivers

Laws have been tabled in Parliament that will regulate ride-hailing or e-hailing services while protecting their drivers from being harassed or assaulted.

One Bill seeks to introduce an intermediation business licence that would legalise these e-hailing services by defining their vehicles as public service vehicles, following amendments to the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 and the Land Public Transport Act 2010.

The Bill, tabled for its first reading by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri on Tuesday, provides for the renewal of an intermediation business licence, including the application and conditions for the renewal of such a licence, within the period and in the manner determined by the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB).

The Bill seeks to define an e-hailing vehicle as a motor vehicle with a seating capacity of four persons and not more than 11 persons (including the driver) for any journey for single or separate fares, with a booking made through a mobile app.

Under Section 26A (1), it will be compulsory for a company operating an e-hailing service to have such an intermediation business licence and to comply with conditions set by the CVLB.

These conditions include the type of service provided, measures to safeguard the safety and security of passengers, and the standard of performance that e-hailing companies have to comply with.

An individual providing e-hailing services operating without an intermediation business licence can be fined up to RM500,000, face imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both upon conviction.

Those who fail to comply with the conditions set by the CVLB face a fine of not less than RM1,000 and not more than RM200,000, or a maximum two years’ jail, or both.

Another Bill seeks to amend Section 200 of the Land Public Transport Act 2010 to include offences against a person who assaults, hinders, or obstruct those providing e-hailing services.

Those convicted face a fine of RM1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three months, or both.

Under Section 12E, those operating e-hailing services cannot transfer or reassign their licence.

Doing so would subject them to a fine not less than RM1,000 and not more than RM10,000, a one-year jail term, or both upon conviction.

By Martin Carvalho, Hemananthani Sivanandam and Rahimy Rahim

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