About 200 taxi drivers gathered at the Esplanade in George Town today as a mark of protest against Uber and GrabCar, as well as in anticipation of the cabinet’s decision on the ride-sharing app.
Penang Taxi Drivers Coalition secretary Muhamad Shahimi Hadzri said he understood the cabinet would make the decision today and the taxi drivers would wait for the outcome.
“We halt all our operations today from 10am to 2pm and see what is the decision, and if the cabinet approves the Uber and GrabCar services here, we will be against it,” he said.
Shahimi said the taxi drivers would also lodge a police report at the Lebuh Pantai police station on the ride-sharing app and against former senator Wahid Omar who drove a Uber taxi recently.
“The federal government should support us but instead, it turns its back on us,” he said.
In Kuala Lumpur, taxi drivers had lodged a similar police report on the matter recently.
P Gunasegaran, 40, who has been driving a taxi in Penang for the past 14 years, said he had lost approximately RM150 per day and sometimes struggled to earn a living.
“Uber and GrabCar have stolen our business, and we are not happy with it as there are less customers taking our taxis now.
“Some of the taxi drivers rent the cars at RM65 and above per day and sometimes, they cannot even get that much. How are they going to survive?” he asked.
Vehicle passing through the Esplanade honked at the protest group as a sign of support for the movement.