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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taxi drivers: Meet our demands or we'll protest



Taxi drivers have insisted on the issuance of individual permits - and without conditions attached - as one of 11 demands in a memorandum submitted at Parliament House today.
 
NONEThe memorandum was handed to Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, and to Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) chief operating officer Azhar Ahmad by a pro-tem group representing taxi drivers.
 
The group, dubbed Tuntutan Pemandu Teksi Malaysia (Teksi), has also called for a review of meter rates and for drivers to be allowed to use non-Proton cars, citing unsatisfactory durability and maintenance costs.
 
“If the government does not give our demands appropriate attention or if these remain unfulfilled by the next general election, Teksi will hold protests continuously in every state until our demands are met,” warned pro-tem president Mohd Ridzwan Mohd Daud.

Taxi permits are currently issued to companies, which then lease these out to drivers.
If the government insists on issuing permits to companies, drivers should be exempted from paying rent for their vehicles on Sundays and gazetted public holidays, or if they are hospitalised, the group said.
 
They want the government to:

- run awareness programmes on consumer rights in transportation especially with regard to taxis;

- lift restrictions on where taxis can operate such as airports;

- review the Go KL free bus service so that it targets foreign tourists instead of locals; and 

- set up an agency to safeguard the welfare of taxi drivers.

‘Advice only for Spad?’
 
Also present at the handover of the memorandum were Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin and PKR legal bureau member Dheeraj Bhar.
 
“Nazri said there should be a professional school for taxi drivers to show dedication to the profession and that licences should not be given for one year but five years,” Dheeraj said.
 
“I quite agree with that and we will see what the outcome is. Nazri has promised to raise the matter with the cabinet.”
 
However, Zuraida said she is baffled that the Prime Minister’s Department cannot issue an order to Spad but can merely offer its views.
 
Asked about Spad’s response to the memorandum, she said the commission has responded positively and will call taxi associations to a roundtable discussion on the issue. 

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