Tuesday July 7, 2009
By ALLISON LAI
Hired car owners here are crying foul over the stern action taken against them by Road Transport Department (RTD) over their usual practice of sending and picking up regular customers from Malacca to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang.
Rather than using the airport limo service, many locals continue to regularly hire drivers to take them to the airport and pick them up upon their return.
However, things took a twist for the worse for the drivers recently as RTD officers has since May begun targeting them in enforcement operations despite their plea for leniency.
Malacca Hired Car Association Low Siong Hean said 40 of its 200 members have regular customers who use their service to and from the airports.
"They have customers on regular basis which include individual passengers and those from the corporate sectors here.
"There was no problem for us as long as we were able to provide the officers our customer's flight numbers and other relevant information," said Low when met at the state MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau here recently.
However, he said RTD had accused the hired car drivers of operating within the airport area without permit.
"Other than issuing RM300 compounds, the officers have also impounded some of our vehicles for several weeks," he said, adding they were told that they must get written permission from the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) to operate at the airports.
Batu Berendam Airport Limousine and Hired Car Drivers and Operators Associations (Petekma) president Jeffri Ibrahim also voiced similar concerns over the action taken by authorities.
"We have about 40 members and all of them are operating the Malacca to KLIA and LCCT routes to send and pick up customers.
"We are now finding it hard to survive as the compounds issued to us costs more than the fee we charge for each trip," he said.
Meanwhile, MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau chief Wong Nai Chee said he would submit the association's memorandum to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat for help.
Wong added that the bureau would arrange a meeting for the complainants to raise their grouses to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as well as the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB).
This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.