Raya open house turns rowdy as cabbies protest outside transport ministry

Taxi drivers gather in a protest outside the transport ministry in Putrajaya today.

PUTRAJAYA: A Raya open house hosted by the transport ministry here today turned rowdy when some 500 taxi drivers refused to leave the vicinity after failing to meet minister Loke Siew Fook to hand over a memorandum.

Some of taxi drivers were heard shouting for Loke, asking where the minister was.

“No double standards please,” another said, directing the call at the police, ministry personnel and members of the media.

The crowd of cab drivers was among a group of 2,000 that had earlier gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Office, urging Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resolve issues facing the taxi industry.

Loke’s political secretary Mohamad Dahlan Maamor later agreed to allow seven representatives to hand over the memorandum at the ministry lobby.

He said this was because there was no guarantee that the taxi drivers would not try to goad the ministry personnel.

“They need to respect the fact that this is a ministry. I can accept the memorandum on the minister’s behalf,” he added.

When asked if Loke would come down to meet the taxi drivers, Dahlan said the minister needed time to calm down.

“You people were abusing him. Let him calm down first,” he said.

He added that Loke is not only in charge of taxis and land vehicles, but of airspace and maritime matters as well.