The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) was established on 3rd June 2010, following the passing of the Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat Act 2010 by the Parliament in May 2010. The Commission gained its full authority on 31st January 2011 with the gazetting of the Land Public Transport Act 2010.
SPAD, which comes directly under the purview of the Prime Minister, brings together the functions of drawing up policies, planning, and regulating all aspects of land public transportation, which includes rail, bus, and taxi services, as well as the road and rail-based freight transport.
In addition, SPAD carries out an enforcement role for the public transportation system in Malaysia, in close co-operation with other enforcement agencies namely; the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Road Transport Department Malaysia (JPJ).
Improving land public transport is in line with one of the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) in the Government Transformation Plan initiated by Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak in 2009. It is stated in the Land Public Transport Act 2010 that SPAD shall propose policies and plans in relation to, or affecting the land public transport, as well as develop strategies in line with the approved policies and plans.
Following the enactment of Land Public Transport Act 2010, SPAD took over the functions of the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, Department of Railways and the tourism vehicles licensing function of the Ministry of Tourism in Peninsular Malaysia. At present, the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, Department of Railways and the Ministry of Tourism continue to exercise their role of authority in Sabah and Sarawak.