There have been many articles in the press about taxi touts harassing tourists at KL International Airport (KLIA).
As a premier taxi driver, I believe I am well versed with the goings-on and hope this letter will clear the bad impression of the public towards taxi drivers.
Taxi touts are not taxi drivers. What they (touts) do is “sell” their catch (passengers they harass) to taxi drivers through contacts or runners.
Once a transaction has been made (usually 70% of the fare for the tout and 30% for the taxi driver), pick-up will be done at secluded parking areas away from the airport limousine bay.
The taxi then leaves with the catch but along the way, if luck is not on his side, will be stopped by police and booked.
With the rising costs of petrol and toll, taxi drivers are willing to gamble to get that extra cash rather than going back empty.
I have seen many taxis (with passengers from KLIA) being stopped by police and booked but the touts live on.
I read in the news recently that Malaysia Airport Bhd will go all out against these touts with the help of police, Road Transport Department and Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board.
I hope they will nab the culprits before the passengers board the taxi and not waste taxpayers money manning roadblocks with 20 to 30 personnel from three government bodies.
It is like arresting the taxi drivers for buying stolen goods (passengers) but allowing the thieves (taxi touts) to keep on stealing.
If these taxis are not allowed to take passengers from KLIA, then it is only fair that the airport limousines should not take passengers from places in the Klang Valley to KLIA.
There should not be a double standard.
There is another class of touts I call 5-star KLIA touts, smartly dressed in suits and they will be the first to harass tourists since they can enter the “fenced” arrival hall.
Under the pretext of being hotel representatives, they too have runners who have contacts with the drivers of luxury cars.