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Cabbies Confront Ride-Sharing (Uber And Grab) Drivers

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GEORGE TOWN – Some 50 Penang taxi drivers caused a ruckus near the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower in Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah here when they blocked at least three cars whom they believed were Uber and Grab (ride-sharing services) vehicles.

The group was quite aggressive as they grabbed a handphone belonging to one of the victims and also damaged the cars during the 8.30pm incident yesterday .

Taxi driver Shafeeq Mohamed Rafique, 30, claimed that a man in his 40s had initially confronted two elderly taxi drivers at the Memorial Clock Tower at about 5.30pm.

“The man threatened the elderly drivers, saying that he was from the ride-sharing service supported by the Government.

“The man was rude,” he said yesterday.

Shafeeq, who has been driving a taxi for six years, said about 50 taxi drivers later gathered at about 8.30pm and called up a few Uber and Grab drivers using the respective applications.

“We confronted them and one of our members hopped into their cars and urged each of them to drive to the police station to lodge police reports,” he said.

Taxi driver S. Gobinathan, 36, claimed that the ride-sharing service was illegal in the country.

“Why hasn’t the Government or police taken action against them? These people are affecting our rice bowl,” he said.

Another taxi driver P. Gunasegaran, 40, said it was not their intention to create a ruckus.

One of the victims who wanted to be known only as Oon, told reporters later that he was splashed with water and had his mobile phone taken.

“I saw at least five other Uber and Grab car drivers at the police station making their police reports. I do not wish to continue being a Uber driver for now,” he said. – The Star

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