THERE is nothing wrong in forming or joining political or non-governmental organisations (NGO) to promote one’s religion or race.
But there is nothing right when religion-based political parties or NGOs champion one race at the expense of others.
It is easy to gain popularity by stoking emotions when supporters adopt the herd mentality.
Likewise, leaders of race-based parties are more interested in helping themselves than caring for the weak and poor in their own community.
Granting special rights to one community may have been a necessity a long time ago but with increasing globalisation, all Malaysians must learn to compete not only with one another but also with others in this borderless world.
We also have NGOs such as taxi drivers’ associations that claim to have many thousands of members but are just fronts used by individuals who are trying to become heroes.
They were always vocal in dialogue sessions with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) in the past and recently with Transport Minister Anthony Loke but they could not offer any sensible proposal in writing.
In the past, they claimed that taxi companies charged them high daily rentals but did not disclose that they were not forced to sign a rental-purchase agreement, paid several thousand ringgit as down payment to take delivery of a taxi, agreed to pay monthly instalments that include rental of the permit and loan for the taxi, and that ownership of the vehicle would be transferred to them upon full settlement of the loan.
In July last year, the amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010 and Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) Act 1987 were passed in the Dewan Rakyat to regulate the e-hailing industry. On Wednesday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that these regulations would be implemented from July 12 and enforced after a 12-month grace period.
Deputy chairman of the Association for the Transformation of Malaysian Taxi Drivers (Persim) Kamarudin Mohd Hussain immediately said that taxi drivers were unhappy with the announcement and planned to stage a protest outside Parliament building when the Dewan Rakyat convenes for the first time after the 14th General Election.
As cabbies work alone, only a tiny fraction of all taxi drivers in the country are involved or interested in these taxi associations. Many have switched to e-hailing services to get more trips or moved on to other more stable businesses or jobs such as driving buses.