Malaysia cabbies want to cut off main roads if Uber and GrabCar not banned

Malaysia cabbies want to cut off main roads if Uber and GrabCar not banned
PHOTO: The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Taxi drivers are threatening to block many of the city's main roads if the Government does not ban Uber and GrabCar.

The threat came after hundreds of them marched to Parliament to protest against the ridesharing apps, which they said were taking away their customers.

"If there is no response or the right attention from the Government, we will have another large demonstration on several main roads," said protest organizer Kamarudin Mohd Hussain.

"Maybe Bukit Bintang (or) KLCC," he said, implying that roads around them could be closed off by their taxis.

Demanding that the Land Public Transport Commission's (SPAD) leadership be "reshuffled", they claimed that the regulatory body had failed to ban Uber and GrabCar.

Led by the Klang Valley Taxi Drivers Action Committee, the group massed at Padang Merbok at about 10am before marching to Parliament an hour later.

They were stopped by police from going up to the Parliament gates but were met by Opposition politicians who came to give the drivers their support.

In Oct 2012, about 200 taxi drivers had blocked Jalan Bukit Bintang with their cars to protest a free-to-ride bus service launched then, causing heavy traffic jams in the city.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar later told reporters that the commission was working to better the taxi industry.

"We cannot do it in the same way that they do because we are the regulators.

"Obviously, not everything that we do, they (the drivers) are satisfied," he said, adding that he was not worried by the threat.

Previously, SPAD had indicated that it was going to regulate Uber and GrabCar, as opposed to going for a total ban.

In an e-mail to The Star, MyTeksi country manager Jaygan Fu said the company supported SPAD's moves to build a stronger transport regulatory framework and improve the service of both taxis and private hire vehicles here.

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