It seems that even with Uber and Grab services making an arguable change for the better in the transportation system of Malaysia as well as being officially legalised, trouble still brews between them and the taxi drivers of our country.
Yesterday saw a crowd of over 100 taxi drivers gather in front of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) demanding for Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Abdul Razak to outlaw the ride-sharing services.
A Malaysian group representing a total of 300 taxi associations nationwide called ‘Kesepakatan Persatuan Tekse Se-Malaysia’ submitted a memorandum to the government for the immediate ban of Grab and Uber services.
A representative by the name of Zailani Isa Usuludin said Uber and Grab services were considered illegal as they breached Section 16 of the Land Public Transport Act 2010. The section of the act provides that no person shall operate or provide a public vehicle service using a class of public service vehicles unless he holds an operator’s licence.
“We, the taxi drivers, urge the government to take this issue seriously, as the presence of Uber and Grab drivers has greatly affected the income of about 77,000 taxi drivers nationwide,” said Zailani.
The Malaysian cabbies who came from various parts of our country such as Penang, Johor and Malacca marched in unity to demand the government in banning Uber and Grab to operate any longer.
“This is not something new. We’ve been saying this over and over again, it is against the law. How can the PM allow something that is against the law?” a cabbie by the name of Zulkifly said.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi announced back in July of the government’s approval for both Uber and Grab to operate with new PSV permits issued known as ‘driver cards’. He added that the new permits will also allow the government to legalise Uber and Grab services without amending existing laws.
He also said the Road Transport Department (RTD) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) were deliberating the new PSV permits and would require all Uber and GrabCar drivers to register with the authorities.
This did little to abate the anger from taxi drivers, who were already outraged over Uber and Grab drivers not having to pay for driving permits and licenses.
“In addition to that, they are not paying tax to the government. Some Uber and Grab drivers also fail to wear appropriate attire. Taxi drivers would be penalised if we were caught not wearing proper uniform.
We want the government to look into our ordeal and concerns over our well-being, as cabbies are the country’s ambassadors,” said Putrajaya and Selangor Visionary Taxi Drivers Association chairman Saari Omar.
He also added that cabbies in Klang Valley have reported a loss of income by 65 per cent since the ride-hailing services came along.
Feature Image Credit: nst.com.my