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The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has rejected requests made by a group of taxi drivers to approve a fare hike in light of increased operation costs, theSun reports. According to the English-language daily, SPAD chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Akbar, has stated that the current rate is “sufficient” as it has been revised earlier on “to suit the industry.”

Syed Hamid was responding to the demands laid down by a group of 80 taxi drivers after it had submitted a memorandum of protest to SPAD demanding that the body highlight their issue(s) to the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK), Puspakom and the Ministry of Transport Malaysia (MOT). The demanded hike will reportedly allow them to cope with the increased NGV price.

“The last fare revision in March was done after factoring in the expected increase in NGV price in September,” said Syed Hamid in return. To combat the increased NGV prices, the taxi drivers were reportedly demanding that the government provide them with subsidies and/or exempt them from GST charges levied on them during mandatory annual Puspakom inspections.

“It was quite alright from the last fare revision in March. But now it is back to square one since the NGV cost has significantly increased from 68 cents per litre to RM1.05. We have been suffering a lot,” said Port Klang Taxi and Hired Cars Association president, Mohd Jani Kamis. He also commented on the commission’s effort to eliminate the presence of illegal taxis and that more should be done.

“Our livelihood is at stake because of these mobile app such as Uber, Grabcar, Eazytaxi and others have been affecting our income up to 30%,” added Kamis. In a separate incident, a group of taxi drivers allegedly “trapped” a GrabCar driver after requesting for a car. Upon arrival, the driver was quickly surrounded by taxi drivers who then urged SPAD to arrest him.