Kuala Lumpur, 20 June 2016 – The recent Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) announcement that it is proposing reforms aimed to transform the taxi industry in Malaysia is a step in the right direction. If it introduces more competition and consumer choice, then it deserves public support.
Commenting on this development, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), stated that this move by SPAD in responding to consumer feedback could result in positive gains for consumers, provided that it is guided by the right principles.
“It is heartening to hear SPAD emphasise the need for solutions which uplift the level of service quality and encourage healthy competition within the industry. For too long, the current taxi industry model in Malaysia has proven to be resistant to change, stifled innovation, victimised individual taxi drivers, caused a deterioration in the quality of services, and resulted in a stigma known the world over. This must change. There are many new developments in the world of public transportation and it is important that SPAD keeps up with innovations.”
“I urge SPAD to make public their proposal before it is finalised. Yes, of course they need Cabinet approval but they must also secure support and ownership from the stakeholders involved and the public. It would be much better if in this era of transparency and openness that SPAD publishes a white paper to outline the direction they are taking, rather than taking a top down approach in policy making. All parties need to get behind SPAD’s proposals and for this to happen, they must be in the loop,” Wan Saiful emphasised.
“In the mean time, taxi drivers need to rise up to the challenge. Taxi drivers cannot hide behind protectionist policies and refuse to improve. Consumers want better cars and better services. Companies like Uber and Grab are providing what consumers demand. Taxi drivers need to start focusing on providing what consumers want because if they can’t, they do not deserve to be protected,” added Wan Saiful.
IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion. Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals. For more information, please visit http://ideas.org.my/