Uber not illegal, SPAD wants the platform to comply with local laws to run business in Malaysia

Posted:  August 28, 2014   By:    18 comments   


Uber in Malaysia was recently put under the spotlight after a group of Malaysian taxi associations demanded action by authorities for affecting their income. Today, The Sun Daily caused a stir by reporting that Uber was declared illegal by SPAD (Land Public Transport Commmission). Obviously the news had gotten several users riled up.

The truth is that SPAD had never imposed a ban or declared that the driver on-demand service as illegal. Such reports are seen to be conflicting with what was mentioned by SPAD’s chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar in response to the Taxi association complaints. Uber can still operate in Malaysia provided that it had the necessary permits to operate within the law.

He was then addressing the Taxi association’s allegation that Uber was operating on private vehicles with drivers that don’t possess Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence. He explained that using private vehicles would deemed illegal akin to “kereta sapu”, and cars registered as Hire & Drive are also not allowed to be used for taxi service. Syed Hamid also added that there are 839 licensed limousines nationwide and these would be allowed for Uber to operate.

A few days back, the SPAD chairman had acknowledged that Uber was getting popular due to its excellent service, therefore they need to study it carefully before taking any action. He added that he knew several people including ministers who have been very satisfied with the service. In fact he even urged the taxi industry to take this opportunity to improve itself in order to gain the confidence of the public.


When Uber was introduced in Malaysia, it had given the local taxis a kick at the rear with its clean and safe rides along with its competitive pricing. What makes it better is its cash-less convenience as you hop onto a car and then hop off without worrying about cash.

Uber isn’t a transportation company and they are basically a platform of offering an on-demand service where in this instance, is to connect a certified driver with a passenger. To call Uber a Taxi service isn’t entirely true, as they don’t pick up passengers from the streets and they don’t accept cash payment from their riders.

Safety and comfort is paramount to Uber, which is the reason why they have partner fleet operators with vehicles covered by commercial liability insurance. As for the drivers, they also undergo stringent checks and they too require a PSV license as required by the law. While taking a ride using UberBlack this afternoon, we managed to get our driver to show his PSV licence. For another level of accountability, Uber has a strict rating system where passengers get to rate their ride quality. A driver has to maintain a certain average star rating, failing of which there would be disciplinary action and they could risk getting banned from driving.

It is normal to see new innovations such as Uber getting resistance from those involved in the traditional system. Instead of calling for ban, the authorities should instead look at ways how to embrace such service and apply necessary laws, which SPAD is currently studying. Nobody can deny that the convenience, cleanliness and professional drivers from Uber is miles better than what our current taxi system could offer. Now Uber is giving more affordable choice with the introduction of UberX that offers clean and newer vehicles at a cheaper rate than a budget taxi. You can compare Uber rates versus other providers over here.

As of now, it is business as usual for Uber. Most recently Uber has expanded with the introduction of Uber Johor Bahru. As an introductory promo, they are giving 10 rides free up to RM25 for the month of August.

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18 Comments for Uber not illegal, SPAD wants the platform to comply with local laws to run business in Malaysia


Sooooo…can I still use uber…


    Business as usual


I am a regular uber user and their service are way much better than normal or even so called executive taxi. Let them expand and give a wake up to our taxi service.

    Lady's Confession

    Now everybody use UBER very simple. All our teksi drivers are so dirty. All the time digging their nose.

    So many complaints that teksi drivers always digging their nose, teeth of pulling their janggut with 2 ten sen coin. Most ladies and even men so difficult or geli to give money to the teksi driver because sure got gold (bugger) in his fingers.

    In Malaysia, ladies always ask teksi drivers to keep the change because they really geli want to touch the change from teksi drivers.

    Another matter also is that all teksi drivers in Malaysia are sex maniacs. Ask any woman, they will tell you, teksi driver always talk dirty or sex to them. Most women feel uncomfortable and scared because teksi drivers talk filth.

    Malaysian teksi drivers should all be prosecuted. This is an Islamic country but they get commission by pimps to bring clients to them. Most single men, either Malaysians or tourist enter the teksi, straight away teksi driver ask whther they want prostitute or spa. Then when the passenger says yes, the teksi driver gets a commission from the brothel, rumah tumpangan or pimp. this has been going on for years and yet, the teksi drivers try to play innocent. They profit from dosa and make Malaysia the sex capital of Asia by encouraging, promoting and aiding and abetting such crime.

    I hope our transport ministry see into this. Remember, our taxi drivers are promoting red light practises as well as sins of the flesh in Malaysia. Mana JAIS? JAIS got time to run around the taman bunga catching young school boys and girls kissing on the cheeks.

    JAIS knows about this but close an eye. Bulan Puasa also, JAIS knows our Muslim taxi drivers are carrying prostitutes and encouraging sins of the flesh but don’t do anything.


Uber is "kereta sapu" operating under a company instead of individual, utilizing technology effectively and is a direct threat of taxi services. it might benefits consumers with better alternatives but let's not just see this from consumer perspective but also need to consider the national economic problem for the taxi drivers. and lets not assume all taxi drivers are crooks for start. their main source of income is threathened now, most of them has low income and those taxi are owned by the company and not by those taxi drivers.

Uber probably has different operating model which enable them to offer better vehicle type and condition. can all those honest taxi driver switch to work for uber then? I doubt so. the taxi service and governance need to be improved surely. imo, uber need to follow some guidelines as to not compete directly with taxi services for example serving areas taxi does not support (since it is call for service) or pricing guidelines slightly higher than taxi as to ensure taxi use meter and do not overcharge.


    At the end of the day competition are good for consumers, no matter what you labelled them.


    Tell the government to upgrade the lousy taxi service first before complaining at Uber. If their service is up to standard. There is no fear for competition ! Malaysia public taxi is worst than indonesia or Thai !

      Say no to bad taxi

      I agree with you. I tried taxi in Jakarta and Bali. They are same standard as UberX using the latest toyota vois. If indonesia with more people can do it, why malaysia cannot

    Say no to bad taxi

    What you are asking for is protectionism for a FAILED system. For that I give you a thumbs down.

    Asking Uber to charge higher just to protect taxi driver is same as over taxing non national cars in Malaysia in order to protect proton. Just like cars, people rather spend more money to buy Toyota and Honda than a Proton because they lost trust in protected brands that cannot compete.

    You seem to be very satisfied with taxis in Malaysia. Don't you feel embarrass to have tourist using bad taxis and that is the first contact when they arrive in our country.

    I know some Uber drivers used to drive taxis and they are loving it. Safer for them because they know customers are verified and less risk of picking up robber.

    Wash out

    If this service is legal under spad, why the driver turn on wearing a short pants and slippers.
    This make my repo in a bad shape when aboard and reach destination.
    Can somebody explain in detail.

Andrew Tan

Uber is the most welcome, happy to know it already expand to JB area.

Welcoem Uber and grow expand, we passenger need a better services than even worst and worst Taxi services in Malaysia especially PJ area.

Jeff T

Many taxi drivers will pick and choose their passengers according to their mood and zone the passengers would like to travel to, haggling the taxi fare and etc. HELLO, WHERE IS YOUR PROFESSIONALISM??!! And still now complain here and there, have you guys ever have self reflection on the service you provide? Eg: Many taxi drivers will park at certain LRT station where you are forced to take their service with extreme price bad attitude and service. Look at yourself in the mirror and think again what had you pledged the moment you got your taxi license.


When coming to Penang?


    Soon. They're planning to setup operations in PNG


How to register , always unsuccessfully


Good,hope they can operate in Penang. Full day car rental averages 200.


who want free ride?? this the uber code "fsn09" just put down the code after install the application, then you get a free ride up to RM30. try it, its not fake..


redtaxi- I will drive for uber if income is better, more stylish and with branded cars and best part nobody knows I am a driver.