GEORGE TOWN: Shouts of â€˜tidak setujuâ€™ (do not agree) were heard as a large group of cabbies staged a peaceful protest against drivers of ride-sharing apps Uber and GrabCar at Dewan Sri Pinang.
Led by Federation of Penang Taxi Association president Abd Malek Darus, the group also unfurled banners with messages urging the authorities to reject the drivers of Uber, GrabCar and MyTeksi.
The drama unfolded when Abd Malek was delivering his speech before the taxi drivers received an incentive from the Penang government yesterday.
â€œPlease rise and say â€˜tidak setujuâ€™ when I ask do you agree with the service of Uber and GrabCar drivers?â€ he said in the presence of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and state exco members who were on the stage.
Abd Malek said the Uber and GrabCar drivers did not obtain the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence and their vehicles were not sent for inspection at Puspakom. They also did not have insurance coverage like taxis, he said.
â€œThe public love Uber and GrabCar because the rate is cheap. But they must bear in mind they are not insured in case of an accident.
â€œWe do not blame the passengers. The authorities need to take action against the ride-sharing appsâ€™ drivers.
â€œThe taxi driversâ€™ incomes are badly affected,â€ he said.
Lim, in his speech, said the state government was disbursing RM718,800 to 2,396 taxi drivers â€“ 1,786 on Penang island and 610 on the mainland â€“ as their half-yearly incentive.
â€œThe annual incentive, amounting to RM600 each, paid in two instalments will come in handy for taxi drivers who will be celebrating Ramadan in less than a week,â€ he said before handing out the incentive.
Lim said the state government had given out RM4.66mil since the programme started in 2013.