Insurance coverage for cabbies

HUNDREDS of taxi drivers in Kuala Lumpur will also be covered by a group insurance scheme modelled after the one proposed for petty traders.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said taxi drivers would also be protected as they faced similar problems like hawkers and petty traders.

“Taxi drivers are self-employed and the insurance will cover their medical costs if they fall ill,” he said.

The senator pointed out that the insurance will be similar to the one proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak for hawkers and petty traders in Kuala Lumpur recently.

“This insurance will also cover accidents and life,” he told reporters after opening the Federal Territory Hawkers and Petty Traders Develop-ment Council’s meeting at a hotel on Tuesday.

He said the insurance scheme proposal for taxi drivers would be studied in greater detail once a similar scheme for hawkers and petty traders got going.

He added that he mooted the idea for insuring petty traders and hawkers in the Federal Territories to the government and the Cabinet had asked him to submit a detailed proposal.

“I will be submitting the proposal to the Cabinet soon for approval and once this is done we can use this model for insuring taxi drivers, too,” said Nong Chik.

He added that for petty traders and hawkers, the insurance scheme would be underwritten by the Kuala Lumpur Foundation and the Federal Government.

“We have passed the talking stage and have identified an insurance company to provide the coverage,” he said, declining to identify the insurance company.

He said many taxi drivers did not have insurance coverage.

“As such they cannot enjoy medical assistance or compensation in the event of injury in an accident,” he said.

It is learnt that the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry is working on a list of taxi drivers nationwide to help secure insurance coverage for those who do not have it.

On the council, Nong Chik said it was set up to look after the interests of hawkers and petty traders in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

The council will act as the highest body representing hawkers and petty traders on issues affecting town planning and infrastructure development.

“It will delve into incentives and development projects for hawkers and petty traders,” he said.

The council has five representatives from hawker and petty trader associations in Kuala Lumpur and one each from Putrajaya and Labuan.

“They are representatives of Malay, Chinese and Indian petty traders and hawkers associations in the federal territories,” he added.

On illegal petty traders and hawkers, he said KL City Hall would legalise and provide them with proper places to conducted their business.

He admited that there were many projects for petty traders which turned into “white elephant” due to lack of representatives from the hawkers.

“With the council we can avoid such mistakes in the future,” he said.

There are about one million traders and petty traders nationwide.

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