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.
â€œThe man threatened the elderly drivers, saying that he was from the ride-sharing service supported by the Government.
â€œThe man was rude,â€ 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.
â€œWe 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,â€ he said.
Taxi driver S. Gobinathan, 36, claimed that the ride-sharing service was illegal in the country.
â€œWhy hasnâ€™t the Government or police taken action against them? These people are affecting our rice bowl,â€ 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.
â€œI 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,â€ he said. – The Star