40,000 cabbies not paid Prihatin aid, says taxi group

About 40,000 drivers have not received relief aid from the government, a taxi organisation said.

PETALING JAYA: An organisation representing taxi drivers is planning an appeal to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over non-payment of the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional aid.

Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain, president of Gabungan Teksi SeMalaysia, told FMT that around 40,000 taxi drivers in the country have yet to receive the federal government’s one-off payment of RM600 because of various reasons.

He hopes to resolve it next week, after the organisation collects data of the drivers. “We will make an official appeal to the prime minister and finance ministry next week,” he said.

Kamaruddin said that among the reasons drivers have not received the aid was because their accreditation card issued by the Land Public Transport Agency had expired.

However, they are still able to legally operate as long as they have a valid driving licence, taxi licence and Public Service Vehicle licence. The licences are issued by the Road Transport Department.

One taxi-driver, Hooi Poh Onn, who has been in the business for the past six years, said it was unfair for the finance ministry to deny taxi drivers the Prihatin aid because of the accreditation card.

He said his daily revenue had dropped from around RM120 a day to RM35 because of the travel restrictions imposed by the movement control order. He hoped Kamaruddin’s appeal would help taxi drivers across the country get some much-needed relief.

“I have renewed my Apad driving card and I’ve made many appeals, but I haven’t got any replies,” he said.Taxi drivers are struggling because of Covid-19, but some of us can’t get this aid because of a minor mistake…not renewing this card.”

“I have been driving for six years and the police have never asked me for this card during roadblocks,” he said. “Kamaruddin’s our only hope now.”

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.