Public transport user: Mohammad relating his encounter with errant taxi drivers in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
KUALA LUMPUR: An Iranian student who claimed to have been abused by taxi drivers for refusing to pay their exorbitant fares said not enough is being done by the authorities against rogue cabbies.
Mohammad Hariri said his face-off with three taxi drivers took place outside a major shopping mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang on Dec 10.
Desperate for a taxi because it was raining, Mohammad and his cousin approached drivers waiting for passengers outside the mall at about 3pm.
“The first wanted to charge us RM56 while the second wanted RM42, which we knew was too much,” he said.
The 29-year-old, who is pursuing a postgraduate programme at a local private university, pointed out to the drivers that the usual metered fare to Sentul was just RM12.
“The moment I refused to use their taxis, a third driver started to swear at me,” he said.
Mohammad said an auxiliary policeman tried to intervene but this did not stop the driver from continuing his abuse.
“He kept repeating ‘This is my county, Malaysia, who are you?’” said Mohammad.
The policeman escorted him to the mall’s information desk where he was advised to call the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) immediately. However, SPAD wanted specific details about the taxis and the drivers in order to investigate the case.
Mohammad went back outside to get the number plates of the taxis when the drivers confronted him.
He claimed that one threatened him with an umbrella while another started pushing him.
“I was calm and tried to walk away, but the third driver took out two big sticks from his car and rushed towards me,” he said.
Fortunately, someone called the police, who arrived in time to diffuse the situation. He lodged a police report at the Dang Wangi station the following day.
Mohammad, who has been in Malaysia since 2006, said he had three previous encounters with rogue taxi drivers who overcharged him.
When contacted, an SPAD spokesman said they were investigating the incident.
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