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Grab warns Malaysia to brace for higher fares and longer waits

New license law to sideline majority of drivers when it takes effect Saturday

Nearly a quarter of Grab drivers have given up on obtaining a public service license.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Malaysia is requiring drivers for ride-hailing services to obtain the same commercial license held by taxi and bus drivers starting Saturday, a move that could severely reduce available vehicles nationwide and lead to higher fares and longer waits.

Grab, which has close to a monopoly over Malaysia's ride-hailing market, said only 41% of its 150,000 drivers had such licenses as of Wednesday. Many are still taking the necessary classes or have not yet taken the exam, and 22% had given up on obtaining the qualification altogether.

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