GEORGE TOWN: DAP's bid to exploit and twist an article in Bloomberg on the United States' Department of Justice probe (DOJ) into Uber's activity in Asia, to hurl more allegations against the government and attempt to stop the legalising of ride-hailing services, is despicable, the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) said.
BNSC deputy director Eric See-To questioned why DAP was against ride-hailing services such as Uber and Grab.
"It is astonishing how desperate DAP can get when they twisted the Bloomberg report on the DOJ's probe into Uber's activity in Asia.
"It is important for DAP to get their facts right instead of twisting the article," he said in a statement today.
Explaining, See-To said the probe started after it was alleged that an Uber employee in Indonesia had made multiple small payments to policemen on the understanding that Uber would be permitted to continue operating from an office located in a non-business zone.
The probe was then extended to China, India, Malaysia and South Korea.
"According to the Bloomberg report, cited by DAP, the probe in Malaysia is on two matters – an alleged early stage US$30 million investment by pension fund Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) in Uber as well as Uber's participation in an entrepreneurship programme of Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).
"What does DAP find to be so wrong of the KWAP fund making a smart early stage investment in Uber since it is the exact business of a fund to make profitable investments? What does DAP find to be so wrong for KWAP Uber to work with MaGIC to promote entrepreneurship? " he further questioned.
See-To said DAP then went on to say that Malaysia should not pass a law to legalise ride-hailing services that will put taxi drivers at risk if there is any indication of conflict of interest.
He added that they even claimed that taxis would be wiped out and e-hailing drivers would face lower wages in a duopoly of Uber and Grab if e-hailing services were legalised.
"Firstly, DAP should understand that ride-hailing services are already operating for many years and that the public at large has nothing but praise for the convenience of these services. Legalising and regulating such services can only improve protection for participants of these services.
"Secondly, the government had already put in a place a comprehensive programme to assist existing taxi drivers including giving them individual taxi permits and allowing them to participate in ride-hailing services too.
"As such, DAP's bid to exploit and twist the article in Bloomberg to hurl more allegations against the government and attempt to stop the legalising of road-hailing services is despicable," he noted.