TAXI drivers in the country are seeking RM500 monthly aid from the government for cabbies who are struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They claimed that since the movement control order (MCO) was first implemented in March, thousands of drivers had seen an 80% drop in income.
Gabungan Teksi, Kereta Sewa, Limosin dan Teksi Lapangan Terbang SeMalaysia (GTSM) president Kamarudin Mohd Hussain said the RM500 monthly aid would go a long way towards easing the burden currently faced by taxi drivers.
“It’s not like they (taxi drivers) are not trying, they are doing whatever they can to make ends meet, but we are living in extraordinary times and whatever little they are doing to supplement their income is just not enough, ” Kamarudin said.
“We have sent official letters requesting for help to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to the Finance Ministry and Transport Ministry, to consider allocating a special financial aid in the upcoming 2021 Budget, ’’ he said.
In March under the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package, taxi drivers received a one-off RM600 payment from the government to help ease their financial burden, but many cabbies said that the money only lasted them a month.
“While we are grateful for that, logically speaking we need something more sustainable and a monthly aid will go far in helping drivers during these hard times, ” he said.
Kamarudin said the group was hoping to set up a union to better protect the rights of taxi drivers, but added that their efforts in the past often resulted in setbacks from the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
“We will continue to try (to establish a union) but the government must open the door for that, ’’ he said. — By BAVANI M
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