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Taxi firms: Unfair to punish entire fleet

13 October, 2008

Taxi companies are decrying the recent decision by the Government to "punish" their entire fleet if any one of their drivers is caught flouting the rules and regulations.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Taxi Operators Association president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said such a ruling had "never happened anywhere in the world before."

"I don't think it's right or fair for the Government to do that.

"Firstly, the Government's decision to continue with the 30% surcharge on express and stage bus fares is only for buses, but what about the taxis?

"It's been two years since we put in our proposal to increase taxi fares.

"At present, if a driver is caught flouting the rule, the Government suspends the permit, which belongs to the taxi company. But the driver is allowed to go scot-free and drive other taxis belonging to other companies," he pointed out.

Aslah was commenting on a statement by Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minis-ter Datuk Noh Omar on Friday that taxi companies whose drivers flout rules and regulations now risked having all their permits suspended.

Previously, only the errant driver had his permit revoked.

The matter came about after a meeting between the Mentris Besar and the Prime Minister asking for tougher action on taxi drivers as many of them were caught refusing to use the meter, overcharging or bargaining for fares during the recent Hari Raya festive period.

Aslah said taxi operators would seek a meeting with Noh for a clarification.

"We are unhappy with the recent decision because I know that many taxi companies already keep a list of ??blacklisted' drivers so they don't engage the bad ones," he said.

KL and Selangor Taxi Welfare Association chief assistant secretary M. Kumar described the move as illogical, adding that it would be equivalent to punishing a criminal's family members, instead of the criminal himself.

"Our association has written many letters to the ministry to complain about our plight and to highlight the various offences committed by taxi drivers.

"But the ministry has not replied. We definitely do not agree to such a proposal," he said.

"There are also other rulings that are unfair such as allowing coupon taxis from the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) to pick up passengers in the city when city taxis are not allowed to pick up passengers from the LCCT," he said.

This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.

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