KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 – Some 102 taxi drivers in the Klang Valley and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had objected to an application by Uber to be the intervener in a lawsuit that was filed in December last year. In the lawsuit, the taxi drivers were seeking a permanent injuction to compel SPAD not to legalise the activities and operations of ride-sharing services such as Uber, Grabcar dan Blacklane, which they claimed to be illegal.
In the meantime, Lawyer R. Kengadharan, who represented the drivers aged between 25 and 73, also said that the taxi drivers were against Uber’s bid to intervene in the matter on grounds that Uber was not properly regulated and that it had no business to intervene.
“Their (Uber) activities are not approved by the SPAD, unlike metered taxi drivers. They are not in compliance with the Road Transport Act nor the Land Public Transport Commission Act 2010. The SPAD is also echoing this,” he told reporters after the parties met the High Court Deputy Registrar Lukman Hakim Abu Bakar Sidek in chambers over the lawsuit.
Kengadharan said High Court judge Justice Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin set May 31 to hear the intervener application. On Dec 30, 2015, Klang Valley Taxi Drivers Action Committee chairman Zailani Isausuludin, 51, together with 101 others as the plaintiffs filed the suit and was seeking a declaration from SPAD that the three online taxi service providers’ operations were illegal since such an online service was not bound by the Land Public Transport Act.
They were also seeking an injunction for SPAD not to approve the activities and operations of the three online taxi service providers, besides issuing a guideline and circular, subject to agreement of the terms, to ban their operations and activities. In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs said the Uber, Grabcar and Blacklane operations had adversely affected the local taxi service industry as the latter’s fares were lower than those of the metered taxis.
They claimed that the operations conducted by SPAD and the Road Transport Department against illegal taxis were seen as ineffective for as long as the taxi booking application by Uber, Grabcar and Blacklane was not stopped, thus causing turmoil. They also claimed that SPAD had failed and neglected to take proactive measures to ban the services of the three operators but had instead given them priority at the expense of local taxi operators.