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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

SPAD Questions UBER's airtight hiring of drivers


Image result for UBER MALAYSIA drivers
UBER MALAYSIA

SPAD wants Uber to explain how ‘airtight’ hiring failed

MALAYMAILONLINE
PETALING JAYA, May 30 — The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is demanding a detailed explanation from Uber on its hiring practices after a passenger was robbed and suffered a miscarriage.
Its chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar was disappointed that the ride hailing service operator had failed to ensure the safety of its passenger after giving the government its assurances.
“We have always asked them about their hiring practices but they proudly tell us they are airtight,” he told Malay Mail.
Syed Hamid said despite assurances from Uber, the company had weaknesses which needed to be immediately identified and rectified to stop ill-intentioned individuals.
“We have asked them on this … obviously there are loopholes and weaknesses in their recruitment and we will call them to explain how and why this happened,” he said.
Syed Hamid said the commission had no legal mechanism to act against any ride hailing service as the amendments to the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 had not been passed.
The bill was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri in April and allows hefty fines and jail time for those failing to comply with licensing requirements.
“It is for this reason we wanted them to be regulated and the law be brought to parliament quickly so that we are granted such powers,” he said.
Syed Hamid said regardless of the bill’s status, the matter was of public interest and the commission did not want to be seen to be allowing the company to “get away”.
“This type of incident must not be tolerated. They assured us they check (drivers’) records meticulously and have access to the police and Road and Transport Department,” he said.
On May 21, sales assistant Wong Mei Yan booked a ride to Puchong from Mid Valley at 9.30pm and boarded the car without noticing someone in the front passenger seat.
Wong realised the driver was heading in the wrong direction when the front passenger, “a small, thin man”, leaned over with a knife and demanded her valuables.
“For the sake of her one-month-old child”, Wong handed over everything. She was “ditched” at Koi Kinrara where a good samaritan helped contact the police.
The 22-year-old driver was arrested in Pagoh, Johor, three days later but the accomplice is still at large.
It was reported that fright cost Wong her child.
In Kuching, Sarawak, Nancy said the incident was being looked into.
“We are not washing it off our hands as SPAD is acting on the issue,” she said.
“Presently, Uber has not been licensed or regulated, thus we are unable to take legal action against it. Action can only be taken by the police as it is a criminal case as we and Uber currently have no links yet.
“When the e-hailing regulations are passed by Parliament, operators of the e-hailing services will be responsible for practising a high level of safety and service standards.
“We will fine-tune what needs to be done to ensure the safety and comfort of service users.”
Nancy said a robbery could take place even when the driver involved had his record with Uber.
“That is why in the Bill, we want to see what safety aspects need to be tightened in the contract and terms and conditions with the service providers,” she said.
Uber has declined to comment on the incident. A woman uses her smartphone to book a ride hailing service. SPAD says it can only legally act against e-hailing services after a Bill has been passed in Parliament.

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