THE Government’s effort to eliminate touts or so-called ulat has been futile. There are more touts at government offices than the Puduraya bus station!
Recently, one of our vehicles was summoned for a parking offence. We were told to settle at the Wangsa Maju JPJ centre.
When we parked our car at the parking area, I noticed many people with small pouches around their waist. The moment we stepped out of our car, some of them approached us to offer help.
These touts were not as persistent as the ones in Puduraya but imagine them having a strong hold at government offices with no action being taken!
They were roaming freely in the area, offering their services to those who need help – at a price, of course.
We did not deal with these touts for fear that they might cheat us. But to our dismay, we saw the same scenario at the Johor Baru JPJ centre. They were all over the place.
It is extremely unfair to punish the touts at the bus station while letting go the ones at government offices.
The touts we see at bus stations are hired by bus operators to sell and fill the seats of their buses. If the bus is half full, the operators cannot break even. Hence, the need for these touts.
However, there are touts who charter, or in their lingo, pau their own buses and sell tickets without a valid counter. These touts tend to cheat passengers who have no idea whether they are buying a valid ticket.
That’s why we have reports of passengers buying tickets only to find their bus is a 40-seater instead of the promised 27. Or when the bus breaks down on the journey, they don’t have another bus to transport the passengers.
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