KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government will not give in to the demands of taxi drivers who want ride-hailing services, in particular Grab, to be banned, Transport Minister Anthony Loke reiterated on Wednesday night (Oct 31).
He said the government is aware of the problems faced by taxi drivers, but that it has to look at the issues not only from the perspective of taxi drivers but also that of passengers.
He also said that the ministry had come up with a "win-win formula" to protect the welfare of taxi drivers and drivers who use the services of ride-hailing companies.
"Our purpose is to encourage taxi drivers to use e-hailing applications, whether it is from Grab or other companies," he said when winding up the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan for the ministry.
"(We should) not focus on Grab only as there are 20 to 30 e-hailing companies in the country. There are many more options,” he added.
He also urged MPs to assist taxi driver associations in their constituencies in using smartphones which will enable them to use e-call technology.
On Oct 17, more than 100 taxi drivers protested outside the finance ministry in Putrajaya following reports that the government may work with Grab to provide transport services at MRT stations.
The finance minister's political secretary Tony Pua had suggested that Grab could replace feeder bus services to train stations.
Mr Loke later clarified that his ministry has no plans to replace feeder buses with ride-hailing services, and Mr Pua’s statement was “just a proposal”.