By S Manugharan Sellandy & K Raja Rethinam

Taxi drivers still getting a raw deal

Why is the issuance of individual taxi permits not feasible?

The recent miserable explanation provided by Land Public Transport Commission chairman Syed Hamid Albar is illogical and not tenable.

Because of the unreasonable monopoly practiced by the government on the issuance of permits cabbies have today become a displaced lot.

Cabbies have effectively lost focus and sense of direction and are indebted to organisations and treated like modern slaves without proper care and protection.

Therefore any suggestion to issue taxi permits directly to individual cabbies must be viewed positively and not narrowly.

We are not asking for a nationalisation of companies as alleged by Syed Hamid Albar.

But we vehemently object to the monopolisation of any industry and exploitation.

Additionally, we don't need arrogant leaders who failed to appreciate and understand the true plight of cabbies.

Pakatan Rakyat's popular statement that all cabbies will be issued a taxi permit is not an attempt to woo votes neither an attempt to swing votes to Pakatan Rakyat.

It is a genuine effort to help and uplift cabbies.

Both Syed Hamid and Premier Najib Razak are certainly feeling the heat and were forced to organise baseless events to hoodwink cabbies with piecemeal insignificant measures and their act of stupidity in administration and governance is so glaring and disappointing.

There is no doubt that cabbies are facing a crisis and there has been no constructive effort to resolve it.

Why? When there is a dispute, corporate interest is safeguarded at the expense of the individual cabbie.

There is no Employment Provident Fund contribution or protection. In the event of a mishap there is no support or assistance from the corporation and Government.

Cabbies have to bear or effectively made to stomach all losses and no one cares including SPAD, Najib and Syed Hamid.

We are therefore cautiously optimistic with any plans and announcements made by Najib and Syed Hamid in relation to the plight of cabbies and will not take anything for granted.

Najib and Syed Hamid have been crooning at public rallies that the votes of cabbies will swing to BN. This is not true.

The disgust, disappointment and frustration suffered thus far by cabbies are beyond redemption.

Every year when disgruntled cabbies made noise, Najib will sing a similar tune before a large cheering crowd.

This is shameful. Going by the present conditions we have no potential.

Often we have raised our grievances openly simply to awaken the public conscience to the injustices that is still prevailing in our civil society despite the political tsunami of 2008.

To solve our problem, we require level headed leaders who think less of themselves but more of others and believe in their knowledge, ideas and results.

We strongly believe the current arrogance in administration and management of the economy has failed to cause any major change or shift in our suffering and we insist that Syed Hamid and Najib should resign.

We the cabbies now are at crossroads. To achieve success, prosperity, fairness and justice we require a change in government.

We have suffered and punished enough. Giving away 1,000 permits and RM5,000 each to 1,000 cabbies will never solve our deplorable and shameful plight.

We require a permanent solution to our problem and the new administration must engage in a massive cleanup upon capturing power.


S MANUGHARAN SELLANDY and K RAJA RETHINAM are from the Persatuan Pemandu Teksi Nadi Negara.