The Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (PERS1M) has protested against mobile app-based transport services like Uber, GrabCar and Blacklane, claiming that Klang Valley taxi drivers’ incomes have fallen by 50-70% due to their existence, Bernama reports.
PERS1M deputy chairman Kamarudin Mohd Hussain said the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is not doing enough to transform the Malaysian taxi industry, and that he has submitted to the Prime Minister’s private secretary a memorandum containing 10 demands concerning the welfare of Klang Valley cabbies.
Besides app-based transport services, the association brought up the excessive issuance of taxi licences (including to travel and tour companies) and asked for a standardisation of the taxi system, amongst others.
“We want only one system. If the meter system is good, then it should be implemented in all areas. If the coupon system is good, then only the coupon system should be implemented,” Kamarudin said, citing the dual system at the airport and saying it caused confusion amongst customers.
PERS1M also proposed a plan under which taxi drivers would get individual taxi permits at the end of their hire-purchase agreements. Many drivers currently have to lease permits from companies that hold them. It also wants the government to exempt them from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
SPAD has determined that as long as Uber complies with national transport laws, the service will not be suspended nor banned. In an operation held in Johor Bahru, the commission seized five private cars for allegedly offering illegal Uber services.
A SPAD survey carried out in 2012 and 2013 found 71% satisfied with Klang Valley public transport, but last month, the commission said it received over 24,000 complaints in 2014 – nearly 10,000 of which were taxi-related. Taxi drivers refusing to use their meters was the top complaint.
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