Thursday, April 2, 2009

Malaysian Taxi Driver’s Antic/ 大马德士行业的病态

Any frequent visitors to Kuala Lumpur will tell you that taxi service in KL is ne of the worst in this part of the world.

When I was an EXCO, I used to be very dependent on taxi when I am in KL for meeting. Often, they just refused to use the meter and if you insist, they just refused to accept you as a passenger.

Often in a hurry, it’s money that talks and nothing else. Taxi driver often is the first line of contact with many people, both local and foreigners. Bad taxi service gives a very poor image of the country. A lot of international conferences are held in KL and one of the major complaints is taxi service, which is described as horrendous. Overcharging and being rude is the trademark. Hence, it is not surprising that only 15 out of 627 taxis were found to be following regulations following an undercover operation conducted by the JPJ.

The common complaint by taxi driver is that the meter fare has not been changed since the last 13 years. There are valid reasons for this fare to be increased since in the last 13 years, even the price of char kuey teow has increased from RM2.80 to RM3.80 or even up to RM4.50 depending on the location. It is only fair that the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) should look into this request.

Taxi drivers have to pay a rental of RM40-50 daily since a lot of these taxis are owned by companies. The CVLB should consider giving license to individual drivers so that the cost of operation can be reduced. As part of condition in giving licenses, taxi driver should undergo mandatory course on proper driving, basic manners and knowledge of the town where they operate. Maybe an examination should be conducted, either written or oral. Then only we can expect better service.

A common complaint among taxi driver operating from the KLIA is that they are only allowed to carry passengers to the city and on the journey back, they are not allowed to take in any passengers unless the passenger is going to airport. This will only serve to increase the cost of running the taxi. They should be allowed to pick up passengers on their way back to the airport if the passengers’ destination is on the same route to the airport.

Most of the taxis are in deplorable condition. Renewal of taxi license should be conditional on the taxi been well maintained and clean. Until then, we have to continue to bear with taxi drivers who don’t follow the rules and regulations but operate according to their mood.










Poppercaster said...

Dr Chua,

Deplorable state of our taxi service is a national shame for yrs. So many public complaints and believe enforcement taken too but why till todate problem never resolved?

How come Thailand, Singapore and even Vietnam having better taxi service compare to us?

Instead of throwing condemnations after condemnations on our poor taxi drivers, may I suggest we stop and pondering on the root of the problem.

As what you have mentioned, 'Taxi drivers have to pay a rental of RM40-50 daily since a lot of these taxis are owned by companies'. Who are the owners of these companies and do we need them?

Noted traffic condition in the Klang Valley is a nightmare. May be not a problem for those VIPs with driver and escorts. But for commoners like us, driving in KL daily less than 15km can be more than one half hour during rush hour. Even off peak traffic condition can be so unpredictable eg Pudu Station jam almost every hour. So imagine you are the taxi driver stuck in the jam daily trying to make ends meet and have to pay $40-$50 daily to some companies irrespective whether you are too sick to drive or need to take time off etc.

It is the policy and not the engine that needed major overhaul. Till then, there will be no improvement as the poor drivers also have to make ends meet.

I am not a taxi driver by the way.

Chinese said...


I faced those problems too, although i have cars. Its the policy, its the attitude. Try to see the service in Australia, Singapore. What is the difference? They get better pay? No. Do you try to ask them why they do not follow meters? Its not because of fuel, it is because of Malaysian Government! The policies and monopoly of the business (see what happen to AirAsia taxi service).

Pearls said...

Come on la.. I take the taxi everyday and can tell you, it is all in the attitude!!

To begin with, nothing justify an increase in taxi fare even though it has not been increased for the last 13 years. The plain reason is that service and attitude of these taxi drivers have not improved at all!! Not 1 bit.. infact, it has become worse!

Don't even go near that "things have gone up and we cannot make ends meet" theory la. If so, change job la.. don't drive taxi!! Why continue to drive taxi?? Isnt it obvious it's all about attitude!?

Let me say this, these taxi drivers who scream about not able to make ends meet are the very people who will charge you RM30 to get from KLCC to IJN!!(plenty of these taxis line themselves infront of KLCC waiting for their prey daily) They are the ones that will ponder in their little pea brain as to whether they want to drive you to your destination. They are the ones that will tell you they dont want to go to your destination because it is jam and it is peak hours!! They are also the ones that will turn violent if you use your consumer rights on them!!

So, basically, there is no remedy for such bad attitude. The only way to go about it is to be very tough with these taxi drivers and companies. Do what Singapore government do with their taxi drivers! CRACK THE DAMN WHIP! CLEAN UP ALL THE NONSENSE WITH AWARDS OF TAXI LICENSE TO CERTAIN PEOPLE!! Of course, if our enforcement is to crack the whip, our enforcement have to be very discipline themselves too. Can it happen? These are not hard actions to take and definitely a much better one compared to raising taxi fare!

Everytime the fare or service charge is to be raised, these taxi association promise the sky and heaven.. after that? it is the same nonsense! So, how to say that raising taxi fare will solve the problem!?

No doubt, I must say there are some very good taxi drivers out there who are seriously making effort to earn a decent and honest living which they tell me, they can if they are hardworking. To these taxi drivers, I always ask them to keep the change or pay them more!!

So again, raising taxi fare is not the REAL solution to our taxi problem.

john said...

Dr Chua
Taxi aside, it was reported in Metro Harian today that 88,000 vehicles (inclusive of motorcycles) worth RM1b were stolen last year.
It is mind boggling that the police force is not ashamed of itself when disclosing the statistic to the public. The ineffectiveness of the Malaysian Police Force is a disgrace to the nation.
Last week, my colleague’s Toyota Rush parked in front of our office was stolen. After reporting the loss to the police, he has followed up by submitting a CD, which showed vividly how the car was driving away, captured by a CCTV installed in front of our office.
When the car was driven out to the main road, the images should also have been captured by LDP highway cameras. But nothing is being done.
Can you help the nation by helping the police??

Darick said...

ask any taxi driver in town & u'l u'stand y they're doing it.
- they must pay taxi rental 365days. meaning they cant enjoy a single day of paid/unpaid holiday but they all gonna pay for their own leave.
- they don hv EPF saving. wat happen when they're retire & old?
- wat happen when their taxi broke down/accident? they're still bound to pay taxi rental fr their own poket money until d taxi was repair.
- robbery can happen to them anytime/anywhere to them. who'll pay for their hard earn money of d day?
- y cant d taxi driver own their own taxi permit just like others 1-3tons lori driver. y taxi driver gonna pay renting a taxi permit to cari makan & not others?

it's all boils down to d corrupted regime racist umno to HAMBAkan Rakyat & kayakan cronies regime !!!!

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