Can Dr M and Anthony Loke improve taxi drivers' efficacy?

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COMMENT | It is no secret that Malaysian taxi drivers have regularly topped lists of the world’s worst.

A few of you have probably had a nasty experience with Malaysian taxi drivers and prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is no exception.

Last October, during his dialogue with some taxi drivers in Langkawi, the meeting turned chaotic, with some taxi drivers becoming abusive, before they stormed-off.

Taxi drivers feel entitled to be given the exclusive rights to ferry passengers, and so, they had demanded that the government ban e-hailing or ride-sharing companies.

This leaves fare-paying passengers with little choice but to be subjected to the whims of the taxi drivers, their crude and rude mannerisms, poorly maintained and decrepit taxis, and over-priced fares.

Taxi associations are calling for the government to create an even playing field, but in reality, they want the government to ban e-hailing companies from operating.

Numerous articles have been written about the issues of the taxi industry and the problems faced by taxi drivers. These problems have been simmering for years, and arose because of the lack of direction and poor management by the relevant authority, namely the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, & the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad), which is now known as Land Public Transport Agency (Apad), under the Transport Ministry.

A consulting engineer, who wishes to remain anonymous, said this about the taxi industry, "Malaysia does not face the issue of ride-sharing companies alone, as Indonesia has faced similar protests with its taxi industry...

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