LICENSED van operators operating the Kuching-Tebedu and Serian-Tebedu routes are claiming that pirate taxis and express bus drivers are robbing them of passengers.
A member of the Hired Van Operators Association Tebedu District, who requested anonymity, said the express buses from Sibu, Miri and Bintulu would send passengers right to the Tebedu Immigration Post and they would then ferry passengers from Tebedu to Serian Bazaar.
“They are allowed to send their passengers here (Tebedu Immigration post) but they are not allowed to take passengers from here down to Serian Bazaar,” he said.
He claimed that there were also foreign vehicles from Indonesia operating illegally there by bringing passengers from the immigration post to Serian Bazaar and vice versa.
“Their activities had badly affected us. It’s hard for us - the legal operators - to earn our living. There are days when we are left without any passenger to ferry,” he lamented.
Thus, he urged the authorities to help them to put a stop to these illegal taxis and express buses.
Express buses normally come to the immigration post as early as 7am. They will pick up passengers for Serian Bazaar at only RM5 per head compared with RM7 charged by the legal van operators.
About 45 licensed vans are operating on the same route.
“There are more than enough kereta sewa to bring the passengers up and town from Tebedu to Serian and to Kuching. There is no need for the express buses to come here.
“If this continues, it will be more difficult for us.
We really hope the authorities concern will help us to eliminate those illegal taxis and stop the express buses from picking up passengers heading to Serian Bazaar.
“Please give us some business to earn our living here,” said another van driver, who only wished to be known as Trangar.