Ride-sharing services are now officially legal in Malaysia, making it the first country to do so. According to a report by The Star, the first step to legalising ride-sharing services such as Uber and Grab took place when amendments allowing for it in the Land Public Transport Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 198 were passed by the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) yesterday.
The amendments will also have to be passed by the Dewan Negara (Senate) and get the Royal Assent before it can be gazetted and enforced. Once the law comes into full force, all e-hailing vehicles will be classified as public service vehicles, and the operators would need to obtain an intermediation business license to be issued by Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
SPAD is the regulatory body in Peninsular Malaysia, whereas the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) regulates for Sabah and Sarawak. When the new law comes into effect, operators, drivers, and passengers using e-hailing services can make official reports and complains to the SPAD and CVLB respectively.
The amendments also make it an offence for anyone to assault, hinder, or obstruct those involved in e-hailing services. Those convicted may be liable to a fine of RM1, 000, imprisonment not exceeding three months, or both upon conviction. All ride-sharing operators have been given a year to comply with the requirements under the law before any action to enforce the new laws.