Taxi Drivers Protest Against GrabCar 1

The police have reminded taxi drivers that they shouldn’t take the law into their own hands with regards to Uber and GrabCar drivers, and that they should instead lodge a police report for the cops to take the necessary action, Bernama reports.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said this to reporters when asked to comment on a viral video of taxi drivers attacking two vehicles in downtown KL last week – the vehicles were allegedly working under the umbrella of the transportation network companies (TNC).

It was reported that taxi drivers were ‘arresting’ Uber and GrabCar drivers picking up and dropping off riders in the KLCC area, apparently detaining more than seven drivers working for the transportation network companies.

In response to the call by police to desist from direct action, taxi operators said they didn’t agree with such behaviour, but could not stop drivers from acting.

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“Of course, we do not agree, but when people are angry, we do not know what can happen,” Big Blue Premium Taxi adviser Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said, adding that the taxi drivers should have instead taken smarter indirect measures such as recording events and handing it over to the authorities.

He said that around 300 taxi drivers registered under the company operating in the KLCC areas had lamented that their average income had gone down by 30% over the last couple of months. The report adds that Shamsubahrin claimed that lack of enforcement by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) against these TNCs had caused some taxi drivers to take the law into their own hands.

Meanwhile, 500 drivers working under Silver Cab have urged SPAD to deactivate the Uber and Grabcar applications (apps). Stating that the services offered by the two companies were considered illegal, they said that the commission could take such action with the cooperation of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Doing so was the best solution to discourage the public from using such illegal services, Silver Cab manager Adnan Mohamad told Bernama. “We have voiced the issue to SPAD but its response was that only the MCMC can terminate the applications,” he said.

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Adnan did however add that licenced taxi drivers needed to change their attitude and be more disciplined in order to encourage consumers to use their services. He said that around 15% of the taxi drivers under his management were still headstrong and lacked discipline.

Yesterday, SPAD said that taxi drivers should focus their efforts into improving their services and image instead of protesting against ride-sharing services such as Uber, GrabCar and the like. “Taxi drivers must find ways to improve their services such as providing a comfortable ride, be friendly and use a fare meter,” a SPAD spokesman was reported as saying.

“They need to understand that it is they who opened up the opportunity for alternative ride services to rise because of their poor services to passengers. Not only is their action against the law, but they have also created a negative perception of themselves with their gangster-like attitude,” the spokesman added.

“We don’t encourage taxi drivers to take matters to their own hands as they don’t have a legal right to do so. Each action taken must be according to the law and everyone must respect the law.”