As many as 300 taxi drivers today staged a peaceful protest in front of the main entrance of the Suria KLCC shopping centre at Jalan Ampang. They were protesting the denial of their right to pick up passengers in front of the shopping centre.
Komunitikini understands that taxis without a special permit from the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (LPKP) are no longer allowed to enter the premises to pick up passengers, but only drop them off.
This permit to pick up and drop off passengers from around Suria KLCC has apparently been given to Syarikat Awana Tour & Services, which runs an airport taxi and limo service.
One taxi driver, Mohd Razid bin Khalid, claimed he was beaten up early this month all because he refused to play by the new rule. ‘I was beaten up because I was picking up a passenger in front of KLCC. And as a result, I needed about 17 stitches for my head injury.’
Another driver, Phua Teoh Bin, said that his taxi was kicked at and the front part so badly dented that it required RM600 to RM700 in repairs. ‘There were three women that day including one pregnant lady wanting to get into my taxi, but out of nowhere a man came towards me and said I cannot pick up any passengers here. He even threatened to beat me up if I refused to comply. He even took photos of me,’ said Phua.
At the time of writing, both Phua and Razid had lodged a police report each.
‘I don’t understand why these people opt to use their fists to settle problems like this. Why can’t we all work together to service the people? Our country implemented 1Malaysia so that everyone can live peacefully, but where is our right?’ lamented one driver who declined to be named due to the concerns for his safety.
‘It’s really madness and chaos here. When we park our taxi at the taxi waiting area beside the road along Jalan Ampang, the police, JPJ and DBKL will come to us, slapping us summons of RM300. We can’t afford to pay that. We’re already facing difficulty in making ends meet,’ said taxi driver, Satwan Singh.
Chairman of Taxi Drivers Welfare Association Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, M.Manickam, said that the LPKP chairperson, Halimah binti Mohamed Sadique, was supposed to meet all the taxi drivers today, but no representatives of the LPKP were seen around.
‘Early today one of the representatives from LPKP, Ariffin Samsudin, confirmed that Datuk Halimah would meet us, but so far I don’t see anyone yet. When we called, the usual reply we get was that she is either sick or busy,’ said Manickam.
‘We only want some answers and explanation from the authority. We just want to be treated fairly,’ continued Manickam.
The peaceful protest dispersed after an hour, without any untoward incident taking place.