Cabbies say they have lost 100% income, appeal for help

A federation of 200 taxi associations says their drivers have been severely affected by the movement control order.

PETALING JAYA: A federation of 200 taxi associations is appealing to Putrajaya for help, saying the movement control order implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 has severely affected their livelihood.

“We have lost 100% of our income,” Gabungan Pertubuhan Teksi, Kereta Sewa, Limosin dan Teksi Lapangan Terbang Se’Malaysia (GTSM) president Kamarudin Mohd Hussain said in a statement.

The federation is also seeking an exemption in rental fees for taxis, saying they still need to pay at least RM50 to taxi companies.

When contacted, Kamarudin said the government should emulate Singapore, which announced last month a S$77 million programme to help taxi and private-hire car drivers affected by the pandemic.

Of the sum, S$73 million was earmarked for a special relief fund that will help active full-time taxi and private-hire car drivers defray business costs.

“We hope the government will be able to help us out and for taxi companies to consider granting us a special exemption,” Kamarudin said.

He also hit out at the Social Security Organisation (Socso) as taxi drivers were not eligible to receive RM600 announced by the agency recently.

“What is the point of us being compelled to contribute to Socso when we cannot even make any claims for aid?” he said, urging the government to review the Socso scheme for taxi drivers.