Taxi drivers aren’t giving up the fight, as you’d expect. They’ve now demanded to meet with transport minister Anthony Loke soon, failing which they will hold a protest to demand a meeting at parliament on November 8, The Star reports. According to Big Blue Taxi founder Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail, cabbies have been asking for a meeting with the ministry since Pakatan Harapan came to power, without success.

“We want a harmonious relationship with the ministry. We want to resolve the issue (facing taxi drivers),” he told reporters. He said that for the protest slated for this Thursday, taxi drivers will not leave parliament unless Loke or his deputy Datuk Kamaruddin Jaffar meet them.

Among the subjects cabbies want to discuss with Loke is e-hailing, which has had an impact on cabbies’ earnings. Shamsubahrin said that taxi drivers aren’t asking for Grab and e-hailing to be banned, stating that Loke’s recent statement that the government would not bow to the demands of taxi drivers that Grab be banned was misleading.

“Please do not talk rubbish. I respect you so much, (so) please don’t come up with these kind of statements. We don’t want the government to ban e-hailing, we just want e-hailing drivers to adhere to the same rules that govern taxi drivers so that there is a level playing field between us,” he said.

Last week, Loke had reiterated that the government will not give in to the demands of taxi groups who want them to ban ride hailing or e-hailing services using private cars, such as Grab.

In response to the latest statements made by taxi drivers, Loke replied that he will not entertain any request that contains an element of threat. “If you want to discuss, we are ready to hold discussions, but do not threaten us,” he said.

It was previously reported that the government is set to create a level playing field in that both ride-hailing drivers and cabbies will be subjected to the same rules and regulations. The process will be implemented in stages to ensure smooth operation for all parties, and will begin on January 1 next year and expected to be completed within a period of six months.