Taxi Drivers Protest Against GrabCar 6

Despite rogue taxi drivers taking matters into their own hands by conducting “arrests” of Uber and GrabCar drivers, Uber has stated its stand – it remains unintimidated. The company says that vigilantism by these drivers will not see the ride-sharing app pulling its drivers off the streets, The Malay Mail reports. Meanwhile, GrabCar has also expressed its disappointment over the incident.

“We strongly condemn the use of intimidation and violence against our driver partners, including holding our driver partners to ransom by assaulting them and damaging their cars and even intimidating and threatening riders,” Leon Foong, general manager of Uber’s Malaysian chapter said.

“We are confident that the local authorities and judicial system will take note of these incidents and take immediate action against those indulging in violent and unlawful activities,” he added. Foong assured however that the company will carry on providing its services regardless of the setbacks.

Meanwhile, GrabCar released a statement on the matter, saying that, “we are disappointed by the recent incidents of taxi drivers taking unilateral action against GrabCar drivers. We are concerned about the safety of our GrabCar drivers and passengers, and urge the authorities to ensure that crimes like assault, harassment and vandalism and any organisation that supports such disorderly behaviour, are not tolerated.”

Taxi Drivers Protest Against GrabCar 1

Both Uber and GrabCar said that they are offering Malaysians in general, an alternative option to get around. “All transport operators, whether GrabCar, taxi operators or other public transport operators, should similarly strive to provide safe rides, trusted drivers and cars in good conditions for the benefit of commuters in Malaysia,” GrabCar said in an e-mail statement.

Meanwhile, Karun Arya, Uber’s head of communications for Southeast Asia and India said that there is an emergency helpline in place. Should Uber drivers face harassment or hostility of any kind, a distress call can be made. Upon response, a security team will be sent to the driver’s precise location. This was set up a few months ago, and the company is exploring other safety solutions, according to Arya.

Both apps are facing hard times – from local protests which saw taxi drivers ambush a GrabCar driver to requests for both apps to be disabled and more recently, rogue “arrests” of Uber and GrabCar drivers around KLCC by taxi drivers. The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has urged that taxi drivers improve their services and image instead of going on protests.

Today, the police has come out to warn taxi drivers not to take the law into their own hands. So folks, what’s your take on this issue?