KUALA LUMPUR: The Transport Ministry and the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) have been urged to ensure ride-hailing services adhere to the same laws and regulations as taxi drivers.
“All taxi drivers have to rise and defend their position, not to threaten but to oppose... so that the Transport Minister will follow Dr Mahathir’s instructions,” said Big Blue Taxi Facilities Sdn Bhd founder Datuk Shamsubaharin Ismail during a press conference at his office on Monday (Oct 22).
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said Grab would be asked to use vehicles approved by the government and its drivers pay insurance just like cabbies to ensure fair competition.
Shamsubaharin urged taxi drivers throughout the country not to blame Dr Mahathir but instead blame the Transport Ministry and APAD for not carrying out the Prime Minister's instructions.
According to Shamsubaharin, cabbies will hold a protest at Padang Merbok in Jalan Parlimen on Oct 24 at 9am.
On Sunday (Oct 21), Dr Mahathir, seeing a group of disruptive taxi drivers walk out over their dissatisfaction with the Grab e-hailing service, said it would be “no problem for him if he were to resign today as Prime Minister”.
The meeting with members of a taxi drivers association turned chaotic when some 10 of them shouted offensive words and walked out of the room in Dewan Kencana in Langkawi.
This came about as Dr Mahathir was telling them that he would continue to find the best way possible to resolve the issue.
Taxi drivers around the country have increasingly been unhappy about Grab, claiming that the e-hailing service was putting a dent to their business.On Oct 17, a group of disgruntled taxi drivers held a protest in front of the Finance Ministry over the same issue.