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Taxi drivers say Spad's transformation plans 'killing' the industry

Zulaikha Zulkifli  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Taxi drivers' associations are unhappy with the transformation plans proposed by the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) to further improve the taxi industry.

After a two-hour briefing at Bukit Kiara in Kuala Lumpur on transforming the industry, many taxi drivers described Spad's proposals as “killing” the industry.

Big Blue taxi company adviser Shamsubahrin Ismail said the proposals tabled by Spad were to ensure that the Uber and Grabcar systems were improved further, and not directed at helping the country's taxi industry.

He also urged the government to stop the implementation of Uber and Grabcar systems and also criticised the government's action in allowing all types of car makes to be used as taxis.

“The transformation is not about taxis. What I gathered from the briefing was, it is to further improve Grabcar and Uber. It is towards allowing normal cars to become taxis. Where is the consideration for local taxi drivers?” he asked.

“What is important now is to defer implementing Uber and Grabcar,” he told reporters, adding that he had sent a letter to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak requesting a meeting to discuss the problems faced by taxi drivers.

He said he handed the letter to Najib today, requesting a meeting to discuss the real problems they faced and what the government could do to transform the industry.

Meanwhile, the Klang Valley taxi drivers action committee chairperson, Zailani Isausuludin, hoped the government would be strict on Uber and Grabcar.

"We want to see they don't abuse the law. They do not have licences and are operating illegally. We want them to be declared illegal, until laws are formulated to regulate them.

“SPAD should protect the public transport industry and the safety of the passengers,” he said.

Taxi driver Apriman Dalias added that he did not agree with the proposal that any any car can become a taxi.

“This will create confusion in the public transport field. We want Spad to be transparent and conduct a study of the impact on the public transport industry if Grabcar and Uber are allowed,” he said.

However, there were no protests during the briefing conducted by Spad at the event held at the Sime Darby Convention Centre.

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