The presence of ‘gangster’ groups claimed to be from taxi companies as well as comprising fellow taxi drivers controlling major areas in this capital city is said to be threatening the livelihoods and safety of other taxi drivers.
Klang Valley Taxi Driver Action Committees Association chairperson Zailani Isausuludin said the gangster problem had been around for over 10 years and these thuggish taxi drivers seemed to be immune to the actions taken by the authorities.
“They have been controlling the areas which are public haunts such as shopping complexes, luxurious condominiums, premier hotels and the LRT stations.
“If we want to pick up passengers from the areas ‘controlled’ by them, we will first have to each pay RM200 a month to them for each area,” he told Bernama.
Zailani said if the taxi drivers refused to follow their order not to pick up passengers from “their areas”, they would be threatened with physical harm and damage to their taxis.
He said this situation had resulted in taxi drivers paying “area money” by taking advantage of not using the meter and charging high fares, especially on foreign tourists in areas controlled by the gangsters.
The issue had been brought to the attention of the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) but until today no action had been taken against the wayward gangs of taxi drivers, he added.
Taxi driver Zulkiflie Aminuddin, 39, said the actions of the groups had made it difficult for taxi drivers in the Klang Valley to increase their income.
“It’s difficult to earn RM150 a day as our movements are restricted by these thuggish groups of taxi drivers,” he lamented.
He said that according to the taxi permit issued by Spad, they were allowed to pick up any passenger within the Klang Valley.
“For instance, recently I wanted to pick up a passsenger who made a booking through the MyTeksi application but when I drove to the waiting area of the shopping complex, I was prevented from picking up the passenger by a group of men who said only taxis with a special sticker were allowed to do so.”
To curb this problem, the association suggested that Spad form a squad of volunteers comprising selected taxi drivers, as well as provide a mobile unit in the hot spots.
“The squad of volunteers can emulate the Road Transport Department’s Skuad Muda 1JPJ which also carries out community service activities,” said Zailani.
Besides that, he said, Spad should also set up small pondok (beat bases) or mobile stations in busy areas such as Bukit Bintang including KL Pavilion, Jalan Petaling, Brickfields and KL Sentral.
He said the initiative could also indirectly curb the problem of not using the meter by some taxi drivers.