Unlike the cabbies in Kuala Lumpur who acted violently and attacked Uber and Grab drivers physically, the Penang taxi drivers are calling upon the state government to streamline their services through an App.
Saying that they are facing a loss of income due to the arrival of Grab and Uber, the Penang Uptown Taxi chairman V. Tasarathan said the low fares charged by ride-hailing competitors are an impediment to taxi companies statewide.
“We cannot compete with them because their capital investment is low, where else we have to pay expensive business class road tax which amounts to RM1,700 a year and insurance for our taxis,” said Tasarathan to the NST daily.
He claimed it was unfair to taxi drivers that have to comply with so many rules, including obtaining a permit to operate taxis, but (Uber and Grab drivers) are able to operate freely.
Tasarathan said their complaints and pleas for help to various quarters had fallen on deaf ears.
Besides the loss of income, the taxi drivers are faced with a revocation of their taxi badge if they participate in demonstrations.
But they say their plea remained unheard despite numerous appeals to the authorities in the wake of the Uber-Grab challenge that has already caused massive loss of jobs and business for taxi drivers and taxi companies in Kuala Lumpur and in the Klang Valley.
Many taxi drivers have since then joined the Grab Taxi services in most parts of Malaysia where such services are available, according to reports.