The Malaysian government has once again declared that they still have no plans to permit ride-hailing businesses operating in the country due to safety and high accident rate.
Vice-minister of Transporation, Henry Sum Agong, stated that his ministry is not planning to introduce any permit for ride-hailing business operations in the near future.
Henry addressed this decision right after the government received traffic accident and emergency data from the police department. Based on the data, deaths caused by traffic accidents reached 64% or more than 3,900 cases from a total of 6,167 death cases.
“We have considered the safety risk and high accident rates among riders and the passengers they carry in Malaysia prior to making the final decision, ” said Henry.
However, other members of the People’s Representative Council reacted negatively to Henry’s statement. Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, a member and former Minister of Youth and Sports, questioned why Malaysia wouldn’t like to follow the steps of Indonesia and Thailand whose governments have permitted the operations of ride-hailing services as an alternative transportation mode, albeit being managed by private companies.
Saddiq added that Malaysia should have taken examples from the two countries regarding the regulations and policies for online taxi services, instead of completely prohibiting them.
“The excuse for not allowing apps like Gojek to operate their motorbike ride services here is not convincing and reasonable at all. If other neighbouring countries can do it, why can’t Malaysia?” asked Saddiq as cited from The Star.
“If the main concern is safety, then a strict law could’ve been proposed, not a ban,” Saddiq added.
In 2019, when the Malaysian government was under Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammad, operational permits for ride-hailing services were actually given to companies like Diego Ride and Gojek. However, further plans for legalizing online transport policies have been halted and abandoned.