Earlier this week, it was reported that taxi companies were looking to work with ride-sharing app Uber in an effort to save the taxi industry, and were set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Uber Malaysia sometime this week.

It seems that the potential move hasn’t gone down well with some taxi drivers. Yesterday, around 100 cabbies staged a protest against the proposed collaboration between Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GPST) and Uber Malaysia for GPST taxis to adopt the use of the Uber app.

The protest was held in front of Sunway Lagoon club where the MoU between the two parties was supposed to be held, Bernama reports. The signing ceremony was called off and postponed to an unknown date.

The cabbies were sore that no discussions were held with them before GPST announced the collaboration. “This collaboration involves our work and livelihood, why not ask us and explain it to us first before making the decision,” Klang Valley taxi drivers action committee chairman Zailani Isausuludin told reporters.

He said the committee had submitted a memorandum to the GPST urging the association to stop the collaboration, and had demanded a session to discuss the matter with representatives of taxi associations.

Federal Territory and Selangor Indian taxi owners and drivers association secretary S. Balakrishnan added that a clear explanation had to be given to taxi drivers regarding the implementation.

“Explain to us in detail about the commissions, discounts and the procedures involved because we are the ones who drive the taxi. Don’t make decisions in total disregard of taxi drivers,” he explained.

Meanwhile, GPST president Datuk S. M. Salahuddin Ayubi Kamal Aazad made the decision to postpone the signing ceremony at the eleventh hour after learning that the cabbies were planning to assemble at the event location, The Sun reports.

“To avoid unnecessary confrontation with the taxi drivers, we have cancelled the EGM and MOU signing today,” a GPST spokesperson told the publication. He said that the association may call for a meeting soon with key taxi industry players to finalise the proposed move to collaborate with Uber, adding that it wanted to give taxi drivers an option to utilise Uber and prosper.

Taxi drivers and companies have been outspoken regarding the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Grab since 2015, having organised multiple protests – including one which blocked Jalan Bukit Bintang. There have also been reports of drivers suing the app makers, as well as harassing their drivers.

The taxi industry has been left reeling in the wake of competition from Uber and GrabCar. It was reported that many taxi companies may not survive beyond 2018, and faced with this prospect, some taxi associations are looking to work with ride-hailing services instead of continuing to engage in war against them.