KUALA LUMPUR,. Ride-hailing company Grab will soon be required to use vehicles approved by the government and be subjected to insurance and tax requirements like taxis.
This was revealed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as reported by the New Straits Times during a dialogue together with Langkawi taxi drivers on the island today.
“I have brought this up in Cabinet… I told the minister (of Transport) to fix it, but unfortunately, there has been no progress.
“I will try again… I too feel it is unfair. This matter has my attention but I cannot give my assurance that Grab will be abolished, but we can make them equal like taxis,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the report.
The incident also had its own share of drama, with the report detailing a walkout by several disgruntled cabbies unhappy with Dr Mahathir’s explanations.
It detailed how a small group of about 10 cabbies behaved rudely towards the prime minister, uttering harsh words and causing a ruckus, before staging a walkout while Dr Mahathir was speaking.
In reply, a reportedly upset Dr Mahathir told off the cabbies, saying it was not a problem for him to resign as prime minister, as he had done it before.
Dr Mahathir reportedly said his comeback to politics was because of the pleas he received from many to return and help fix the country.
“If you don’t want me to be prime minister, today I resign. Not a problem for me,” Dr Mahathir said in response to the walkout.
According to the report, about 200 cabbies working on the island attended the dialogue, most of whom are against the monopoly of Grab, saying the company had affected their livelihoods.