Taxi protest won’t solve anything, says 4PAM

Ajit-Johl

PETALING JAYA: Holding a protest will not improve the current situation faced by taxi drivers, said Public Transport Users Association (4PAM) President Ajit Johl today.

“Protests are not a solution. Political, economic, social and technological forces are all not in favour of taxi drivers.

“A protest will not improve their situation,” he told FMT when contacted.

Yesterday, it was reported that taxi drivers were planning to carry out a six-day protest against the government’s decision to legalise ride-hailing services Uber and Grab.

The taxi drivers said they had lost customers to Uber and Grab and were unable to compete because of rules set by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

Instead of taking matters to the streets, taxi drivers should at least “get a hold of and understand the market better”, Ajit said.

“Users have become savvy and demand better services at a lower cost.

“It is unfortunate that some good cabbies will get affected by this. But we are sure the government will address this group soon.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from SPAD told FMT that these disgruntled taxi drivers should “reconsider protesting”.

“It will result in traffic obstruction and public inconvenience. Hence, police and SPAD will take necessary actions against drivers who obstruct traffic.”

The spokesperson maintained that the recent taxi transformation plans by the government had taken a balanced approach in this matter.

“It also includes plans to improve the welfare of taxi drivers and increase their income.”

In April this year, hundreds of taxis caused traffic to come to a standstill in Jalan Bukit Bintang near Pavilion when they took to the streets to call for a resolution on the dispute with ride-hailing apps.

In June, more than 50 taxi drivers reportedly attacked a Uber driver ferrying a Middle-Eastern couple in KL Sentral.