Taxi drivers make good money ferrying migrants during Raya

Raya-BanglaKUALA LUMPUR: “Some of them just spit on the roadside,” said Siti Sarah Abdul Rahman.

The employee of an outlet at Suria KLCC said that over the years she had grown immune to the antics of some of these people.

Siti Sarah was referring to a few among the hordes of migrant workers who packed tourist attractions in the city during the festival holiday periods year in and year out.

“I have grown immune to such scenes though I feel uncomfortable with some of their habits,” she told Bernama.

There were times when she had feared for her safety because “these people like to gather in groups”, and their usual haunts are KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Central Market and Kota Raya.

Siti Sarah is only one of several Malaysians who have to put up with migrant workers who take advantage of the festival holiday period to go around the city and enjoy its facilities.

The large number of these foreigners sometimes makes Kuala Lumpur look very “foreign” as public transportation caters almost fully to them during such holidays.

The operators of taxis, for example, are not complaining. They are all the more willing to entertain these migrant workers, many of whom are from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Nepal.

For the taxi operators, the festive holiday periods are a goldmine.

One of them, Chin Chew Wong, said that between 7am and 1pm on the first day of Aidilfitri yesterday, he had made 10 trips ferrying migrant workers from Kampung Pandan, Batu Caves, Pandan Jaya and Kepong to the city centre.

He said he ferried at least three passengers, or even more, on each of the trips.

“Today is ok, many passengers. I can be assured of passengers until tonight,” he told Bernama.

One will not be surprised to find taxis waiting in queue for these migrant workers at the designated points in the Kota Raya, KLCC and Bukit Bintang areas.

Saiful Razak, a soft drinks hawker in Jalan Ampang, said the large number of migrant workers on holiday in the city centre was good for his business which he peddles on a tri-motorcycle.

“You can say it’s my good fortune. Today’s collection is good. I trade here during every festive holiday period,” he said.

He did not deny though that some of the migrant workers were guilty of discarding rubbish everywhere.