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Malaysian Taxi Drivers want the government to create a national e-hailing platform to compete with private apps.

· Automotive News

Penyatuan Pemain Industri Pengangkutan Darat Malaysia (PPDM) is the organisation that represent local taxi drivers. Recently, they have requested a few demands from the Prime Minister and the ministry, centering on wanting an e-hailing app that is able to compete with private e-hailing service, which has been on the rise in the past few years. The PPD had mentioned that they had sent many letters to the Transport Ministry and yet there were no actions being taken which led them to send a memorandum to the Prime MInister.

The PPDM said that the quality of taxi services and insurance coverage schemes can be improved by the billions of ringgit accumulated by the government e-hailing service if they can compete with the other private e-hailing service providers. The profits can also be used to provide for the children of the taxi drivers through scholarships, other than providing compensations to the heir of the taxi drivers in the case of an emergency. By providing these services to the taxi drivers, the livelihood of them can also be improved while also promoting on using local service rather than private services.

The PPDM also demanded a constant or fixed rate between the two industries as they both provide the same services to the people. By doing so, the PPDM believes that it would end the double standard and prejudice towards local taxi drivers. Private e-hailing services have a few advantages against local taxi drivers such as having a lower rate and not using the meter that is still used by taxi drivers. Thus, by having a constant rate, the people would incline more towards taxi drivers and restore the industry’s economy.

The taxi drivers also wanted to be recognized by the government as this was not the first time they had made a demand and asked the government to take action. Previously, they had asked the government to ban all the private cars service as it would harm the economy of their own industry. By demanding an app for local taxi drivers, they hope to achieve a wide range of customers and allow customers to approach them easily without having them ask each and  every person that walks past them. Not only that, it also helps with the social distancing rule that has been followed by everyone, where they need to keep a metre away from each other.

The requests in the memorandum have not been answered by the government as of now. The PPDM only wanted to protect the interest of local drivers and make sure that the industry stays afloat in these difficult times.