KUALA LUMPUR (May 21): Big Blue Taxi Facilities Sdn Bhd is disputing the Ministry of Transport (MoT)'s call that e-hailing vehicle drivers be given the flexibility to take the Public Transport Vehicle (PSV) licence online.
Its advisor, Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail, urged the Ministry to be more transparent and fair as previous taxi drivers had to go through a manual process to obtain the licence.
"The Ministry’s decision on getting the PSV licence online proves very challenging to the country's taxi industry and seems biased because it wants to please Grab," he told a media conference here today.
He said although the Big Blue Taxi was offered to conduct the e-hailing licence driver's training centre online it still had to conduct manual classes.
"We realise the benefits of taking PSV licences online as it will cut costs, but there are many other factors that need to be fine-tuned. Most importantly, how can we be sure the test is taken by actual e-hailing drivers?
"In fact, we have received complaints that some e-hailing drivers don’t speak Bahasa Malaysia well so how can they take this test online?" he said.
Shamsubahrin's said that if the Ministry did not want to revert to the original agreement of not allowing PSV licence tests to be taken online, the Ministry should cancel all taxi permits and allow private cars to be e-hailing vehicles.
"This way, we hope there will be fairer competition as previously taxi drivers had to go through stringent procedures to get a licence,” he said.
Shamsubahrin also wants the Government to withdraw its decision on allowing the electronic option test for PSV vehices within the next 72 hours.
Failing which, taxi drivers across the country will stage protests at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Putrajaya and Langkawi.
“The protest will be organised in a month after Hari Raya to express our dissatisfaction on the Transport Minister Anthony Loke who is seen as favouring Grab drivers over us.
“Before that, I will organise a meeting with the IGP and the Attorney General for advice on the laws relating to the taxi industry. After meeting with them, the date of the protest will be set and I will rally all taxi drivers to join in,” he said.
In PUTRAJAYA, Gabungan Pertubuhan Teksi, Kereta Sewa, Limosin dan Teksi Lapangan Terbang Se'Malaysia (GTSM), a federation of 200 taxi associations, sought to hand over a memorandum to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Perdana Putra to seek the Prime Minister’s intervention to level the playing field for taxi drivers.
GTSM president Kamarudin Mohd Hussain said that they were unhappy the e-hailing companies like Grab were being given preferential treatment.
The memorandum was accepted by an officer at the Prime Minister’s Department.
He then lodged a report against the Transport Minister at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters nearby, claiming that Loke was abusing his powers in the matter of taxi drivers and e-hailing services.