Thursday October 4, 2012
Cabbies come out in support of comrades
PETALING JAYA: Taxi operators have come out in defence of their fellow drivers who held a protest over their working conditions, insisting that their grouses were genuine.
Klang Valley Taxi Operators Association secretary Abdul Razak Abdul Aziz said drivers had a right to be upset over the recently introduced free GO-KL bus service, which had adversely affected their livelihood.
“It is true that a number of drivers are guilty of poor service and refusing to use their meters, but why are all of us being punished with this free bus service?” said Razak, whose association has about 8,000 members.
Abdul Razak said that for cases in which tourists were being fleeced by errant drivers, there needed to be stricter enforcement by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
“Instead, this bus service is introduced, which is like pouring sand into our rice bowls,” he said, adding that hundreds of taxis plying in the city's Golden Triangle were affected.
Federal Territory and Selangor Association of Taxi Operators and Hire Cars president Datuk Aslah Abdullah blamed SPAD for “weakness” in their enforcement.
Admitting that some drivers refused to pick up passengers or overcharged them, he urged SPAD to clamp down hard on illegal taxi touts in Bukit Bintang, who were “steering” customers to selected vehicles.
“There have been many complaints against these touts but there's not enough action by SPAD, which is why drivers in the area are so upset,” said Aslah, who represents taxi permit holders operating some 8,000 taxis.
Bestari Taxi Drivers Association of Kuala Lumpur (Bukit Bintang) deputy chairman Jefry Abu Bakar said the GO-KL service was more suitable for the city's outskirts.
“Bukit Bintang is a tourist paradise. They have money to spend and don't need the free service,” he said.