Frustrated taxi drivers ask for own permits, end to monopoly and improvement to public transport system
KUALA LUMPUR: Five taxi drivers remanded yesterday for taking part in a protest were greeted like heroes by about 30 colleagues in front of the Dang Wangi police headquarters here this afternoon.
The five were arrested after taking part in a protest against Uber and Grab in the Bukit Bintang area.
About 100 taxi drivers took part in the protest
The five taxi drivers were released on police bail.
During a press conference after the release, 1Malaysia Taxi Drivers (TEKS1M) Deputy Chairman Kamarudin Mohd Hussain said yesterday’s protest was an act of desperation as taxi drivers had no other way to express their dissatisfaction.
“Taxi drivers are willing to attend any rally (like yesterday) because their income is badly affected.
“They are facing various constraints while Uber and Grab do not face the same pressure.”
The entire stretch of Jalan Bukit Bintang was at a standstill yesterday after over 100 drivers blocked the street with their vehicles.
Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Mansor yesterday lashed out at the protest and called on taxi drivers to “look at your own mistakes” rather than blame Uber and Grab.
Kamarudin responded by urging the government to change the entire system which practises “modern day oppression”.
“If Ku Nan wants drivers to provide services such as Uber, free us from ‘modern day oppression’.
“Give us our own permits, remove the monopoly. Solve the root problem by changing some aspects of the public transport system,” he said to thunderous cries of “takbir” from other drivers.