Taxi drivers slam transformation programme initiatives

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 16 Aug 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Taxi drivers are concerned that the newly-introduced Taxi Industry Transformation Program (TITP) will harm the industry rather than improve services.

Big Blue Taxi chief executive officer Datuk Shamsulbahrin Ismail hit out at the 11 initiatives introduced by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and labelled them as “nothing new”.

He said the initiative to allow any car to be used as a taxi would result in great losses to the industry.

“This initiative looks more like SPAD wants to aid Uber (and other ride-hailing services) and not the taxi industry.

He added that there were no specific regulations on which kind of vehicles would qualify as taxis.

“I am really unhappy about this because this means your (Perodua) Myvi or Kancil can become a taxi,” he said.

Shamsulbahrin said he had written to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to request for a meeting.

He said that he had drawn up some points for discussion.

“What I want is for the Government to invest more in enforcement and infrastructure to improve the income of taxi drivers,” he said.

Shamsulbahrin said the 11 TITP initiatives should have instead looked at improving aspects such as having proper insurance for drivers.

Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m) president Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain said the changes proposed by SPAD would mean that taxis and ride-sharing services would operate under the same system.

“The new legislation will allow services like Uber and Grab to operate under the same structure as taxis and this will kill the industry due to ‘overflow’.

“Approximately 150,000 permits will be approved, which will create an excess in taxis and an imbalance between users and drivers.

“Overall, we do not agree with the initiatives proposed by SPAD, “ he said.

Klang Valley Taxi Drivers Action Committee chairman Zailani Isausuludin said ride-sharing services should be banned until new legislation is passed by the Parliament.

“What we want now is that Uber and Grab do not abuse the law.

“They have no licence and are not legalised yet. We want them banned immediately until the laws are amended,” he said.

He explained that allowing room for ride-sharing vehicles will not only destroy the taxi industry but also cause transport laws to be abused.

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