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KUALA LUMPUR CABBIES PLAN BIGGER PROTEST ON MONDAY

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Authorities and taxi drivers are headed on a collision course that could lead to a stand-off in the city centre on Monday.
Taxi drivers are expected to display a show of force to protest against a joint operation, called Op Bbklcc, at the city’s golden triangle.
The operation will be carried out by the Road Transport Department (RTD), Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), Kuala Lumpur City Hall and police on errant cabbies.
Bistari Taxi Association chairman Mohamed Asharaf Yasin, in “welcoming the crackdown”, said he would rope in more taxi associations to participate in the citywide protest against the operation on Monday.
“We will not back down. We will not move from the spots (we normally wait for passengers) because these are where we can get a lot of passengers, which means more income for us,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
  • He also warned that t he number of cabbies to turn up on Monday would be more than the number participated in a protest four days ago.
  • It was reported that 250 city cabbies staged a protest on Wednesday, in front of a shopping mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang, to protest against the allegedly high-handed manner the enforcement was carried out. The one-hour protest had caused traffic to come to a standstill in Jalan Bukit Bintang and the surrounding roads.
  • “After Wednesday’s protest, we had a discussion with SPAD and RTD, and told them our side of the story. So, we can’t understand why the authorities are still going after us.”
  • Asharaf also denied that the protest had caused massive traffic jams, arguing that Jalan Bukit Bintang was always congested.
  • He said the association had, in March, submitted a memorandum to SPAD to complain against the aggressive enforcement carried out by the agency, but to no avail.
“SPAD is not being fair to us because other taxi drivers in other areas commit the same offences, but are not penalised. We request SPAD to sit with us to understand our difficulties”, said Asharaf
Asharaf said the cabbies did not want to cause any trouble, but hoped SPAD and RTD would talk with them to resolve the issue.
“They should consider discussing with us first, instead of taking aggressive measures against us.”
  • On the police report lodged by RTD against the Bistari cabbies on Wednesday, Asharaf denied that they had obstructed the department from carrying out its enforcement by blocking vehicles and personnel.
  • “We do not care whether the case is brought to court or not. We will defend ourselves.”
  • Authorities are coming down hard on taxi drivers in the city following complaints over their touting activities, refusal to use the meter and overcharging.
  • On Thursday, RTD enforcement director Jaafar Mohamed had issued a stern warning to city cabbies not to break the law and obstruct enforcement personnel from doing their jobs. He also announced that a joint operation would be carried out on Monday to rid the city centre of errant cab drivers.
  • Tourists and locals had told the NST that generally, they were not happy with the poor services offered by the cabbies, especially their reluctance to use meters.
However, Kuala Lumpur Taxi Drivers’ Association chairman Amin Ching sang a different tune, saying taxi drivers should adhere to the regulations set by the authorities.
He said their members would not join the protest.
“It is not appropriate to argue with law enforcement officers.
“They are only carrying out their duties.
“We do not want to create friction with the authorities.
“ We understand that we must obey the law, and regulations are set in place to ensure smooth traffic flow in the city centre.
 
Source:   NST.
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