Stop abuse of dominant positions to rake in money

YS Chan

17 Okt 2019, 7:41 pagi

Updated a year ago


LETTER | Reading the report on the latest regulations imposed on e-hailing drivers makes my blood boil. I am not an e-hailing driver and neither do I operate any transport service. However, I believe in justice and fair play.

From Oct 12, e-hailing vehicles picking up customers at KLIA2 can only do so at the Transportation Hub, one level below where private vehicles arrive to pick up passengers. Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the move is to smoothen traffic flow.

But I think all this is just a grand scheme to collect "toll". MAHB had conveniently appointed Segi Astana as the concessionaire to manage the mall and parking at KLIA2. In recent months, it struck upon a great idea to collect entry charges for passenger service vehicles such as tour buses and vans entering the Transportation Hub to pick up tourists through pre-arranged bookings.

Not satisfied, Segi has stepped up the bilking of this cash cow by forcing e-hailing drivers to proceed to the Transportation Hub and paying RM5 for five minutes waiting time and another RM10 for waiting another five minutes.

Such an arrangement is not only holding the public to ransom but would also cause panic among passengers and drivers trying to beat the five-minute deadline. Many accidents are likely to occur when vehicles converge and drivers rush out of the Transportation Hub.

In 2012, the then Land Public Transport Commission introduced a terminal licensing framework to all stakeholders including local authorities, terminal operators, transport operators and other government agencies.

It was meant to regulate public transport terminal operations to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures and service levels, and monitor the operational and financial performance of the terminals, public transport operators and other services offered.

As the Transportation Hub at KLIA2 is not a licensed terminal, the current Land Public Transport Agency has no say over its operations. Neither MAHB nor Segi Astana would want to turn the Transportation Hub into a licensed terminal and comply with regulations.

The best hope for tour vehicle operators and e-hailing drivers is the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC). In 2014, Malaysia Airlines Bhd and AirAsia Bhd were fined M10 million each for breach of a market-sharing prohibition under the Competition Act 2010.

Recently, MyCC proposed to impose an RM86.77 million fine against Grab Holdings Inc after investigations provisionally found the electronic-based e-hailing company had abused its dominant position by imposing restrictive clauses on its drivers.

Apart from promoting competition by not allowing monopoly and cartels to fix prices, MyCC also does not allow abuse of a dominant position. As such, the new rules imposed on tour and e-hailing vehicles at KLIA and KLIA2 warrant investigation by the commission.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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