KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) must be held accountable for the robbery of a pregnant woman by an Uber driver and his accomplice, a rights group said today.
The Malaysian Public Transport User Association (4PAM) claimed the incident could have been averted if not for SPAD’s purported failure to regulate the ride-sharing service.
“We demand that the SPAD Chairman and CEO both take full responsibility of this incident, failure to regulate the ride share industry, and provide the necessary protection for users,” the group’s president, Ajit Johl, said in a statement.
He also called for SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar and CEO Mohd Azaharuddin Mat Sah to resign.
“The incident must be the last incident involving safety and security of the Public Transport User and SPAD Chairman and CEO, must take full responsibility and resign immediately.
“Enough is enough,” he said.
Concern surrounding Uber’s safety surfaced again after a 26 year-old was reportedly robbed by an Uber driver and an accomplice on Monday.
As a result, Wong Mei Yan claimed she suffered a miscarriage of her six-week-old pregnancy. She has since announced her intention to sue the ride-sharing company.
4PAM said the incident could have been prevented if SPAD had heeded calls to regulate the nascent ride-sharing industry.
Regulation, its president said, could have also provide users with legal recourse for users to hold errand private transport companies accountable.
SPAD had previously agreed to regulate the ride-sharing industry following complaints over Uber’s loose employment screening process.
Despite concerns that the absence of safety measures could put user safety at risks, the agency continued to allow Uber and other ride-hailing companies like Grab to operate.
4PAM alleged SPAD had not been transparent about how it deals with safety issues, claiming that the agency had so far failed to address many of the violations perpetrated by private transport companies that resulted in either death or harm to users.
“To date none of the Express Bus, Trains or Public Busses investigations have been made public. There is a lack of transparency in the system and we are demanding it,” he said.
4PAM had in the past called for the government to set up an independent public transport tribunal.
Ajit said it was a way forward to ensure there is a full minister and ministry looking into public transport issues.