VOXPOP ‘Why is there a need for Najib to ‘free' taxi drivers from modern slavery when it is one of the clever inventions of Umno to create wealth?'
PM vows to free cabbies of 'modern slavery'
Changeagent: Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't the expenses for new tyres and car insurance be covered by the private companies that monopolise the taxi licences?
Why should taxpayers be made to fund RM35 million for taxi drivers when the majority of the allocation will be going to the pockets of the already rich private companies?
Black Mamba: This white slavery was created by the BN cabinet ministers past and present. The taxi permits fall into powerful bumiputera hands working with their non-Malay cronies, choking all able cabbies into a lifelong slavery bonded by lengthy hire purchase contracts and high daily rental plus an expensive buy-back scheme.
It can only be undone when individual permits are granted to taxi drivers. Otherwise the four new tyres go to the conglomerates that run the taxi permits, as they own the vehicles, not the cabbies. And what is RM520 worth of tyres a year when it hardly contributes to the monthly subsistence of a cabbie's income.
Kim Quek: Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's announcement is tantamount to telling the taxi drivers that Umno has been enslaving them all these years.
As for the cash vouchers for tyres to each of the 70,000 taxi drivers, what is the rationale for suddenly raining this windfall on them, if not for soliciting their votes in the imminent election?
And what do you describe this act, if not blatant election bribery? The organisers of this event are the Information Ministry, 1MDB and Spad. Aren't they government bodies, which have been used by Umno to solicit votes?
In short, Najib has committed two crimes: a) bribing the electorate, and b) abusing power by using government bodies and public funds to solicit for votes.
Disbeliever: Who gave the monopoly of taxi licences to certain groups of private companies in the first place? The Umno/BN government of course! In fact most of the licences are held by Umno goons and cronies.
They are actually the middlemen and the poor taxi drivers are made to pay. These Umno goons and cronies just sit and shake legs and make money out of the poor taxi drivers. This is feudalism in the 21st century.
And now, sigh, Najib, the Father of all Slogans, is trying to be 'sympathetic' to the taxi drivers. He is a despicable hypocrite! I hope the taxi drivers will see through this 'wayang kulit' and not be taken for a ride.
Justified: Talk, talk, talk. Promises, promises, promises. But who are the ones owning the taxi consortiums and licences? Go check your ministers and government officers, Najib.
James1067: Since Najib's time from a deputy minister to a menteri besar, to deputy prime minister and now prime minister, these taxi drivers have been slaves to the cronies who hold the taxi permits.
If nothing had been done to release them from slavery in the past, then nothing will be done in the future as you would not want to anger the warlords. As if he did not know it existed then. This is just another empty promise. If you are genuine, do it now Najib, while you hold the power.
????: These private companies hoarding the taxi permits are owned by your Umno people, Najib.
Telestai: Taxi licences used to be distributed at Umno cawangan meetings to committee members who then lease them to Chinese businessmen. The Chinese businessmen would buy cars and rent the taxis to drivers, many of whom are Malays.
Why then is there a need for Najib to "free" taxi drivers from modern slavery when it is one of the clever inventions of Umno to create wealth?
Moontime: The PM is not sincere. How can he ever pledge to get rid of something that's so ingrained in the Umno crony culture? He is indeed a desperate man.
I believe it was a cabinet decision in the late 1990s to give taxi permits to companies instead of individuals because according to the PM at that time, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, they are much better organised and can take care of the taxi drivers' welfare.
Besides that, it was easier dealing with companies than individual taxi operators. If the current PM disagrees with this decision, why hadn't he made it known before? He's a hypocrite to the core.
Paul Warren: What kind of Prime minister is this? Anwar Ibrahim says it first, and this guy delivers it. The only problem is Anwar has been promising this to the taxi drivers for a very long time now. Just that he has got to get to Putrajaya in order to have the authority to do so.
All this while Najib could have delivered the same to the taxi drivers. But only now, when he is convinced that Umno is going to lose the GE, he promises to deliver taxi drivers individual licences as well as a gift of RM520 a year for tyres. Why wait? Just start giving now.
NewMalaysia: Abolishing monopoly of taxi licences by private companies takes one or two years? Why does it take so long; why can't it be done before the election?
Odin: That Najib and his party are behind this 'janji Melayu' and whether Najib will keep his promise is secondary.
What is of primary concern to Malaysians is that this is buying of votes, pure and simple. And what makes it even worse is that the money is not from Umno's coffers but from Malaysian taxpayers.
If Najib is really sincere about his oh-so-benevolent concern for taxi drivers, then he should revoke all licences held by the Umnoputras and their cronies right now and award them directly to deserving taxi drivers.
Chan: What the hell, using my tax money again? Najib, you will never ever get my vote, not even from my cold dead hand.
RTM prerecorded broadcast open to manipulation
Mairalah: From the Bersih 3.0 experience, we can see that even BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN broadcasts are snipped. So, do you think that Pakatan Rakyat's prerecorded broadcast will be fully played? Looks like a dream for Pakatan to have uncensored airtime under this undemocratic government.
Anonymous #40112563: Actually, once Parliament is dissolved, Radio-Television Malaysia (RTM) should be under the caretaker government, which means it is supposed to be neutral.
We should not be 'asking' but 'demanding' that RTM gives equal coverage to all contesting parties.
Mushiro: Who is the Election Commission (EC) to disallow RTM from broadcasting any party's manifestos live? Does it have the power to do so?
Anonymous_3ec6: Now the EC controls RTM, too?
Tekee: There is no question that BN and its tools are always manipulating everything.
RockaBilly: BN is already going live campaigning all over the country using radio, TV, stadiums, open spaces, factories and you name it. It has already gone there, under the disguise of meeting the people, janji ditepati (promises kept), etc.
What has the EC got to say about this? Opposition parties can only air their edited views on air on limited time. And the EC claims it is fair and neutral.
3musketeers: Is live broadcast against our culture too, Najib?
Odin: Of course. That is precisely the reason the EC chief has rejected live broadcasts of the political parties' manifestos. They would broadcast what you have never said, you object, and they would correct it (maybe), but the damage would have already been done.
Listeners would have remembered the first broadcast and might or might not listen to the subsequent, correct one.
Jesse: You can't trust the BN politicians. They don't say what they mean and they don't mean what they say. Whatever they say is just spin doctoring and just a lot of rhetoric and hot air.
Vgeorgemy: EC chief Abdul Aziz Yusof thinks that you guys have just graduated from kindergarten. He is saying it is his way or the highway.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.