Uber drivers in Sarawak will face possible fines and confiscation of their cars as three enforcement agencies there move to crack down on the ride-sharing service.
Sarawak police’s DSP Alexson Naga Chabu reportedly advised consumers against using the services of Uber, which he said was illegal in the state.
“Uber drivers may be fined not less than RM1,000 or not more than RM10,000 under Section 33 of Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Act 1987. The Act also allows us to seize the private vehicles used illegally for commercial purposes,” the Sarawak police’s Traffic Investigation and Enforcement deputy head was quoted saying yesterday by local daily The Borneo Post.
According to The Borneo Post, state police, the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (LPKP) and Road Transport Department had in a Tuesday meeting decided to act against the Uber drivers.
It also reported that four Kuching-based taxi associations ― Sarawak Taxi Owners’ Association, Kuching Division Taxi Association, Kuching Division Bumiputera Taxi Association and Bumi Kenyalang Taxi Association ― had on September 23 filed a police report against Uber.
Sarawak Taxi Owners’ Association chairman Tay Teck Ming reportedly said taxi drivers have seen their business fall by 30 to 40 per cent since Uber started operations in Kuching about two weeks ago, insisting that Uber should not be allowed to operate in Sarawak since it is illegal there and has yet to obtain any licence from LPKP.
Uber launched its services in Sarawak capital city Kuching on September 14, despite Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri saying ahead of the launch that the company has yet to apply for a permit from the Sarawak LPKP to be able to legally offer its services in the state.
Nancy then said Road Transport Department officials and the police were authorised by law to confiscate unlicensed vehicles offering taxi service, and added that action could also be taken against the drivers under Section 56 of the Road Transport Act 1987 for not having the required licence to provide taxi services.
On Tuesday, local daily The Star reported that Kota Kinabalu police had arrested two Uber drivers in a Monday crackdown who are deemed illegal in Sabah, with the duo being probed under Section 33 of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act for the use of a private vehicle for commercial purposes.
The Star quoted OCPD Asst Comm M. Chandra as saying that Uber drivers need a licence from the LPKP to operate in Sabah and are considered as being in the same category as “pirate taxis” in the state.
The Malay Mail Online